Published: Thursday, May 17, 2007
Mow high grass, Youngstown warns residents
The city requires grass higher than 8 inches to be mowed.
YOUNGSTOWN City officials won't use a ruler to measure the height of grass on private property, but they also won't watch it keep growing and growing.
Sean T. McKinney, the city's buildings and grounds commissioner, wants property owners to know they must comply with a Youngstown ordinance that requiring grass be mowed if it grows higher than 8 inches.
The city will primarily depend on residents to contact the buildings and grounds department at (330) 742-8806with complaints about high grass, McKinney said.
"We're cracking down on this; we want the citizens to take care of their properties," he said.
Unmowed tall grass, some several feet high, is a long-standing problem in the city, particularly on abandoned property, McKinney said.
"We want to keep the city as clean as possible," he said. "Even if a house is boarded up, the grass should be mowed. It's the responsibility of property owners. We don't want the problem to be worse."
Checking it out
After receiving a complaint about high grass, the city will check the property in question typically within one to three days of getting the complaint, McKinney said.
The city then places a notice on or near the property notifying the owner that they have up to 10 days to mow the lawn. If nothing is done in that time, the city has the grass mowed either by street department workers or one of its private contractors, McKinney said.
The city also is looking at using nonviolent prisoners to mow lawns as part of their community service, Mayor Jay Williams said.
The city pays the private contractors $60 an hour to mow grass, McKinney said. The amount isn't high when you consider several properties can be mowed in that hour and some of the grass is so high that the average lawnmower couldn't cut it, he said.
Property owners are sent bills for the mowing fee. McKinney acknowledged that most property owners who've received mowing bills in the past haven't paid them.
The city cut more than 3,000 lawns last year, he added.