Belle aldermen close tracks to loitering

Posted 9/22/21

The Belle Board of Aldermen on Sept. 14 closed the commuter parking lot on Alvarado Avenue known as “the tracks” to loitering after a local business owner expressed concerns about …

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Belle aldermen close tracks to loitering

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The Belle Board of Aldermen on Sept. 14 closed the commuter parking lot on Alvarado Avenue known as “the tracks” to loitering after a local business owner expressed concerns about property damage and a trucker reported his semi truck was damaged.

“This basically comes down to loitering,” said Mayor Josh Seaver. “Park there if you are commuting to work or for truckers to park. It comes down to property damage. Don’t be out there pretending like you are Ricky Bobby and throwing rocks all over the country. The board of aldermen says ‘no more.’”

The city posted on the City of Belle Facebook page that the tracks are now closed to loitering.

“Effective immediately: Per the Belle Board of Aldermen, congregation (loitering) on the gravel lot located on the corner of Alvarado and 4th street (commonly referred to as “the tracks”) shall no longer be tolerated. This lot is designated parking for tractor trailers and overflow parking for those doing  business  along Alvarado.”

Maries County Sheriff’s Office Belle Division also shared a post that they would be enforcing the new rule.

“Over the past two years we have worked with Belle City leadership to address the parking lot at the train tracks,” Major Scott John wrote. “It has once again come to a tipping point requiring the city council to close the parking lot to loitering.”

John acknowledged that the parking lot has been a local hangout for teens on evenings and weekends, but the “actions of a few have impacted the freedoms of others.”

“The continuing problem of trash being left behind, noise ordinance violations from engines and loud music, and thousands of dollars in property damage to businesses and both personally and commercially owned vehicles has pushed the city to once again close the area.”

He continued that some people appear to find it fun to do “burnouts” in the gravel parking lot not caring about the business that have to replace the siding damaged on their buildings, the privately owned cars parked whose owners have to replace windows, the $135,000 commercial trucks whose cabs and tanks are dented beyond repair by the pelting of the rocks.

“Following the guidance of “See something, Say something” would have probably led to a different result in this case,” John wrote. “Until responsible people decide to report irresponsible ones (we find it hard to believe no one knows who did these damages), or the City of Belle decides to change their mind, the tracks are officially closed to loitering.”

The sheriff’s department asks that people please pass the word.

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