BENTON -- Enforcement of speed limits and stop signs in the Mini Farms Subdivision can prevent a tragedy from happening, according to concerned residents of the neighborhood.
Terry Eakins, president of the Mini Farms Homeowners Association, and Mini Farms residents Kenny Little and Donna Morris met with Scott County Commissioners during their regular meeting Tuesday for assistance in researching when the speed limit was changed.
"The speed limit was set at 30 mph," Morris recalled. "We asked that it be changed to 30. ... Before some tragedy happens we want to make sure it can be enforced."
"We've got too many kids out there," Little said.
Morris said in one area of the neighborhood there are five young children. If a motorist is going 30 mph when a child runs out into the street, "you might have a chance of stopping," she said, while there is no chance of them stopping in time while going 60 mph.
The residents said there are speed limit signs posted at every entrance to Mini Farms.
"They agreed to buy the signs," Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel recalled.
On July 31, 2003, Mini Farm residents presented a petition with 141 signatures requesting the speed limits on Mini Farms roads all be changed to 30 mph.
There are about 15 residents in the area, however, that are completely ignoring speed limits and stop signs. "They run them at 55, 60 - not 30," said Little.
Morris said the sheriff's department advised they don't have any documentation of the speed limit change and can't enforce them until they do.
"There was a copy sent over to the former sheriff," recalled County Clerk Rita Milam.
After short search through county records, a copy of a letter dated Aug. 12, 2003, from the Missouri State Highway Patrol to the Scott County Sheriff advising of the new speed limits was found in addition to minutes from County Commission meetings during which action was taken on this matter.
"We hope this helps - we don't want to see anyone hurt," Priggel said.
In other business Tuesday:
* Commissioners approved a donation of $1,000 to the Scott County Search and Rescue K-9 Unit following a request by Capt. Marshia Morton, Lt. Marion Stricker and Ron McCormick from the unit.
"They're a volunteer group," said Commissioner Jamie Burger. He said that up until this donation, "they haven't received any money from the county."
The unit, which is dispatched by the Scott County emergency manager, according to Burger, is the only K-9 search unit between Cape and Memphis. "There is a need for it," he said.
Burger said the group recently assisted in searching for missing persons in areas hit by Hurricane Katrina and in Caruthersville following a tornado there.
During their time in Caruthersville, the team realized it needs some communications gear for areas in which cell phones aren't operating.
Burger said he approved of the donation "because they do benefit all the citizens of the county quite well."
Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn said the group is also used to quickly track down senior citizens who have wandered off from nursing homes or other managed care facilities.
* County Developer Joel Evans presented proposed changes to bylaws for the Scott County Communications Board.
Commissioners are scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Thursday with representatives from the Scott County Emergency Services Association, a group made up of firefighters and rescue squads from throughout the county who want representation on the board.