Down & Dirty in Dexter - Spring Cleaning Time

Down & Dirty in Dexter
By: Holly Brantley

Dexter, MO - Spring Showers are known for making the flowers bloom. But, this time of year too much rain can cause flooding.

Sometimes it's not what falls from the sky but what's down the drain that's the problem.

In Dexter it's double trouble in the form of litter and leaves clogging ditches. City leaders are warning residents that they're enforcing litter laws in hopes of keeping Dexter clean and dry.

City Administrator, Mark Stidham, says improvement projects are on going. Since 1997, Dexter has spent more than four million dollars on drainage improvements in hopes of drying out the city.

But, Mother Nature and manmade messes make that hard. Besides the debris, Stidham says leaves make up a big part of the problem, "A lot of people say 'I raked them, I was going to burn them

,
but what happens is the rain moves in before the fire and then there's a problem."
The city is enforcing litter codes and Stidham is depending on residents to police themselves and each other.
"The first time there's a warning. You know, we're not out for the 'gotcha' image. Most of these people don't know what they're doing is wrong," Stidham said.
People we talked with agree, trash is a big part of the problem. "It seems like a lot of ditches are not cleared out a lot of time," said Peggy Palmer.
But will enforcing litter laws keep Dexter dry? "I don't think it would hurt," said Rhonda Jones. "If people would not litter and throw trash in ditches I'm sure they would not back up as much."
City leaders encourage citizens to contact police if they see anyone littering. But, Stidham says residents should not be worried about starting trouble. They won't release the names of those making reports.