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Valley Speedway, City Attorney Top Board Agenda

by John Unrein

A public hearing and conditional use permit renewal vote for Valley Speedway were among the agenda items at the March 11th Board of Aldermen meeting. Speedway owner Dennis Shrout was in attendance to answer any questions presented. City officials reported that complaints about noise at the Speedway have been reduced to a few a year.

Alderman Headley requested Shrout highlight what has led to the reduction in complaints.

“We have a curfew that we meet and have never broken, and we put mufflers on all of our cars that meet the sound decibel requirement that we agreed upon. If they don’t have a muffler, they don’t race. We are set on enforcing these rules. We spend a lot of time and money adhering to them. We also spend a lot of time promoting Grain Valley and our community,” Shrout said.

No citizens in attendance chose to speak for or against renewal of the permit for Valley Speedway. The Board of Aldermen unanimously approved the renewal of the conditional permit for the next four years. Racing season at the Speedway runs from April to October at the Speedway per the conditions of the permit.

The Board of Aldermen also unanimously approved the 9th Plat, Phase B development of the Rosewood Hills subdivision. The plat is fairly small, consisting of 24 lots and is the land furthest north within the city limits currently in the subdivision.

There will be another ingress and egress point added to Dillingham as well as the current trail being extended along the east side of the road. Previous business on the agenda also contained a motion to rescind action taken at the January 28th , 2019 Board of Aldermen meeting. Mayor Mike Todd explained that the board met on that evening in closed session and voted to exercise the city’s right to disengage the city attorney and city prosecutor James Cook. The mayor went on to state that the person in that role was a contractor and not an employee of the city: therefore, the action should have taken place in open session.

The matter was considered again in open session to assure proper transparency and was voted on unanimously.

“The city attorney and city prosecutor serve at the pleasure of the Board of Alderman per city ordinance and that the Missouri lawyers ethics rules make clear that a client always has its choice of legal counsel. Restructuring of the administration department at City Hall has led the Board of Aldermen to seek request for qualifications for city attorney and city prosecutor positions. The Board has decided to bring in an outside firm to sit as an interim sitting attorney,” Todd said.

The city hopes to decide their longterm city attorney and city prosecutor as soon as possible.

“I just want to make clear on my behalf as well as the Board of Aldermen that this decision was not a punishment or a poor reflection of Mr. Cook’s work for the city, but rather simply a result of the city’s growth and interest in exploring all of its options ongoing for new council. We are thankful for Mr. Cook’s years of service to the city. His reputation and competence remain untarnished in our view,” Todd said.