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Public meeting to be held on Seneca Special Road District - KOAM TV 7

Public meeting to be held on Seneca Special Road District

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A public meeting will be held next week in Newton County regarding the future of many of the roads located between Seneca, MO and Neosho, MO.

400 signatures have been obtained on a petition to dissolve the Seneca Special Road District and hand responsibility over to the county.

Gerald Marble has lived off of Queens Lace Road within the Seneca Special Road District for the past 30 years.

During that time, he has seen very little improvement.

"The condition of the roads has deteriorated and there's no maintenance on them," Marble said. "The last time anything was done to this road, I did it myself, two years ago."

That is why he joined 399 other residents in the area in signing a petition to give the roads over to the Newton County Common Road District.

"They've got more equipment," Marble said.  "They've got more knowledge of how to maintain the roads."

However, officials in the special district say the roads would not be in better hands.

"The county already has a load to handle," said Dennis Lankford, advisor for the Seneca Special Road District.

Lankford says they are already making progress on hard surfacing roads.

"We can't fix every road in one year," he said. "It's impossible, but we try to do the roads that are heavily traveled first."

Out of the 142 miles of roads within the district, Marble estimates about 80 percent of them are in need of repair.

"It's hard on your alignment and your tires," Marble said.

"We would like to get every road in the district hard surfaced, but it's not going to happen overnight," Lankford said.

Both special district officials and petition signers are hopeful that the Newton County commissioners will make the best decision for their area.

"I would like to see things just stay the way they are and let us get down to business," Lankford said.

"To me, it's not good for the whole county," Marble said. "We're still Newton County, so we deserve to have some good roads."

The Seneca Special Road District will have a meeting Monday night at 7 p.m. to answer any questions from residents.

A public hearing regarding the petition will be held at 5:30 on Tuesday at the Newton County Sheriff's Office.
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