Stingy access to Madison Street businesses causes council to consider requiring access between parking lots in the future

Bob Foos

Webb City is in the process of requiring new commercial properties on limited-access streets to be be connected to neighboring businesses.

The City Council on Monday accepted first reading of a bill requiring cross-access easement agreements before building permits are approved.

City Administrator Carl Francis said cross access has been needed for some time but is now a necessity because of the Missouri Department of Transportation entrance restriction of only one every 220 feet.

Case in point is the new HTeaO construction site on the southwest corner of Madison and Eighth streets. Francis said MoDOT would not allow HTeaO even one driveway from Madison Street. Neither could HTeaO reach an agreement for a connection to the neighboring shopping center’s parking lot. That leaves Eighth Street as the business’s only access to Madison Street.

Two examples of cross access on Madison Street are Dollar Tree/Dairy Queen and Arby’s/Taco Bell.

The proposed ordinance requires the cross-access easement agreements to be recorded by the county to be binding on future owners.

Public works would determine other limited access situations besides Madison Street where cross access is required.

Self-funding health insurance has paid off

Francis reported that the city’s self-funded health insurance plan had a good year for claims so it won’t be necessary to increase the cost for employees.

In fact, he said in the 10 years since the city established its plan there has never been a rate increase for employees.

It was casually pointed out that it helps to hire young employees. The discussion followed the swearing in of four young police officers.

“It’s paid off,” Francis said about the self-funded plan.

“What we don’t want to talk about,” he said, is workers compensation insurance, the premium for which is going up $30,000. He and Mayor Lynn Ragsdale agreed there’s nothing the city can do to lower workers comp insurance.

In other action, the council approved Police Chief Don Melton’s request to use donated funds to purchase four tasers, along with 15 taser cartridges and nine battery packs for a total price of $7,018.

Melton said he tried to find a grant for the tasers but nearly all grant sources don’t allow the purchase on non-lethal weapons.

The source for this purchase is a $10,000 check from Nancy Spaeth and her late husband, George. The remaining $2,982 will be saved for when another need occurs.