It's been months of waiting for a group of Belton churches. All to hear if Second Avenue in Belton would get renamed Martin Luther King Jr. street. Tuesday evening, the city council decided that the name change could not happen without newly imposed fees and requirements.
It's been 8 months since the African American Churches of Belton turned in their request, but the council didn't have any policies about renaming streets. Now that they do have one, the group will have to go through the process.
They were hoping to get Second Avenue renamed, since it runs through the city and only has 29 properties on it. Which they thought would mean less trouble for residents and businesses when it comes to changing their address. The council decided anyone, including this group, hoping to change a street name will have to get the support from 70% of property owners. They will also have to pay $150 to file along with having to pay to replace all street sign.
The group's chairman says they're disappointed with today's decision. "That's a ludicrous situation. They're asking the impossible. 70%, 70% we might as well say 100%," says Dr. William Hill, Chairman of the African-American Churches of Belton.
While the city says since there was no previous policy the group will have to follow this one. One they decided on after seeing what other cities did about it. "The committee looked at other cities across the state who have gone through a similar type of situation and came up with some standards that we believe are a good guide for the future," says Sam Listi, Belton City Manager.
Now this isn't the first time someone has tried to change the name of a street in this community. There was a movement to change one of the street's names to Patriot Way, but that died down after some controversy.
The city council also said they would like to see a street named after Martin Luther King Jr. and hope the group will file another application.