MT. VERNON — The city has received close to 100 complaints on properties which have not been mowed so far this summer.
“Since May 6, which is when we began posting for weeds this year, we have posted 92 properties,” City Engineer Brad Ruble reported last week. “City crews have mowed 13 of those as of (May 28).”
Mowing of nuisance properties is done in addition to mowing the 120 city-owned lots.
Ruble said when complaints are received about properties in the city limits which have not been mowed, the city inspector, Derrick Quitsch, goes to the address and takes a look at the yard. To be cited under the nuisance ordinance, weeds and grass must be 12 inches or higher.
“If it’s 12 inches or higher, it gets posted and the owner is sent a letter,” Ruble explained. “We give them five days to correct the action. They can get an extension if needed and try to give them at least one weekend to work on the property.”
If the property owner doesn’t mow, the city crews will come in and mow it for residents — at a cost of $90 for a residential property and $250 for
a commercial property.”
“If they don’t pay the fee, then it goes to the legal department, where we have several things that can happen,” Ruble said. “Of those, we can issue a lien on the property.”
The mowing crew for the city consists of five seasonal employees whose primary job is to mow right-of-way and the city owned properties.
“They start mowing on May 1, the first day of the new fiscal year,” Ruble said. “That’s when their employment as seasonal employees starts.”
Ruble said there are a lot of outstanding complaints at this time.
“We always have a lot of complaints at this time of year, but we have a lot of outstanding complaints right now,” Ruble said. “We look at the complaint properties first before mowing our properties, so we still encourage people to call in with the nuisance properties.”