The City of Laurie recently held their monthly Board of Aldermen meeting on Oct. 11, and among the items of discussion were updates on city projects. The much-debated tree ordinance finally passed by unanimous vote, putting into place new safeguards and checks for the city to take care of trees within city limits.
One of the most discussed parts of the ordinance was the city’s ability to place restrictions upon the location and types of trees planted. Of concern was city infrastructure being damaged by trees that were planted in poor locations, such as near sewer and water lines, or beneath power lines. It was finally settled after nearly a year of discussion and revision. Citizens have a list of suggested trees which they can plant, and where it is advised they plant them. However, they are not legally bound to the list, and can plant what they like were they like. The city does have to follow the list, and will be eligible for grants through the Tree City USA program to allow greater control over city foliage.
Another item discussed that was first brought up in September’s meeting was the possibility of enlisting the Morgan County Special Aid Road District to repave the roads. The city was going to contract out the entirety of the work, but it was found they could potentially save money by buying the materials and letting the Road District install them. It is currently under consideration by City Attorney Steve Grantham and the Road District attorney to see if it is, in fact, legal.
The Wellington Woods subdivision, located off of Highway 5 on Chelsie Road, approached the board to see if their roads could be placed under city care. The issue was first brought up in 2013, and was left unresolved due to questions on whether or not the development was finished before the ordinance was developed. If it was, there is potential to “grandfather” the subdivision in, as happened with Ozark Meadows in 2014. Ozark Meadows was developed in 1995, before the ordinance placing conditions on the roads Laurie would accept was implemented.
If it is found that Wellington Woods was built after the ordinance was implemented, the citizens living there will have to pay for core sampling to be conducted, as per the ordinance. Once that is complete, the sample will determine if the roads are up to Laurie standards. If not, the subdivision will have to have the roads redone at their expense to bring them up to code. City Clerk Ron Clarke is researching the exact dates of the ordinance and Wellington Woods construction to determine “grandfather” status.

Other Business
• A concerned citizen addressed the board during the Citizens’ Communication portion of the meeting, bringing up the fact that there are no pedestrian crossing signs at the Hillbilly Fairgrounds. In addition, she said she noticed that a lot of people speed through the park, and measures should be taken to slow drivers down.
• The Sidewalk Project is well underway, and stands at 60% complete. It is expected to continue as scheduled. The new sidewalk, when finished, will extend from Mooreview Drive to O Road alongside Highway 5. The project also includes two crosswalks and will place a new stop light at no cost to the city.
• The Laurie Welcome to the Lake sign is set to be completed by the end of November. Final plans were approved at the beginning of the month, and construction will be taking place for the next few weeks. The sign will mimic the one located in Lake Ozark along Highway 54.