BENTON - Motorists driving through the Mini Farms Subdivision will soon be required to slow down to 30 miles per hour.
Scott County commissioners approved speed limit changes for the Mini Farms Subdivision during their regular Tuesday meeting after viewing a petition of area residents presented by members of the Mini Farms Homeowners Association.
"We have 141 signatures," said Donna Morris, association member. "We didn't make a huge, huge concerted effort, we just made an effort."
The petition requests the change "for the safety and welfare of the children and adults residing in the Mini Farms Subdivision."
Law enforcement officers living in the subdivision have reportedly agreed to help make sure the limits are enforced. "We have five (officers) on our street," said Morris.
Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel reminded the Mini Farms residents they will need to purchase the signs themselves.
Signs for the new speed limit are slated to go up at every entrance into the subdivision and on every street "so there's no question of what the speed limit is," Morris said.
Documents must also be sent to the Missouri Department of Transportation's chief engineer and the Missouri State Highway Patrol's superintendent in addition to the Sikeston Special Road District.
Morris said there were two versions of the petition circulated: one for 30 mph and one for 35 mph, with only nine people opting for the higher speed limit.
"We can't have 55 mph any more," said Morris. "There are just too many kids out walking, riding."
Commissioners were next approached by county resident Warren Arant who complained of speeders on Jamie Lynn Road off Highway H.
His chief complaint was the "cloud of dust" raised by the vehicles moving at high speeds down the three-quarters of a mile stretch of gravel road. "I considered calling SpeakOut about it," Arant said.
Priggel advised doing exactly what the previous group had done: get a petition together and buy the signs.
"We definitely agree with you, sympathize with you," Priggel said.
Officials noted a recent newsletter for county governments by John Ballard, a recognized authority on local government, which does not specifically address speed limits but does advise counties about putting up stop signs.
If stop signs are put up, officials should expect problems with enforcement, Ballard writes, and be aware that they make themselves liable if someone is killed at an intersection where their sign is knocked down after placing one.
Mini Farms and Jamie Lynn Street residents have reported the sheriff as saying he will enforce the speed limits if established.
In other Scott County news:
* Although Scott County still hasn't received any reimbursement money this year from the Missouri Department of Corrections, "supposedly it's in the pipeline," Commissioner Jamie Burger said.
Officials estimated the DOC owes the county over $200,000.
* Commissioners issued a proclamation designating Sept. 22 as "Family Day - A Day to Eat Dinner With Your Children."
The proclamation was issued at the request of The National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse which notes its research since 1996 "has consistently shown that the more often a child eats dinner with his family, the less likely that child is to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs," according to the center's literature.