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City urges residents to cut grass

DECATUR -- Cutting the grass is just part of the responsibility of being a homeowner, but too many people aren't doing it.
DECATUR -- Cutting the grass is just part of the responsibility of being a homeowner, but too many people aren't doing it. WCIA-3's Kelsey Gibbs talked with city leaders and taxpayers who are fed up with the problem.

"They haven't cut the grass since they took over."

Leondis Williams cares so much about his neighborhood, he's willing to cut the grass at the boarded-up home across the street.

"To keep our neighborhood looking like we have it looking we have to do something."

This home has been vacant for three weeks and Williams says, not once has the city abided by its ordinance to maintain the lawn.

"Because we have raccoons, groundhogs, then you have mice running around and all kind of wildlife."

But it's not just the lawns of dilapidated homes the city has to tend to.

"We deal with occupied and unoccupied houses when it comes to weed violations and grass violations."

City manager Ryan McCrady says being the mowing services for residents is cutting into the city's funds.

"It doesn't really impact the overtime budget, but what it does impact is our ability to do other things that I would call other higher priority things."

If residents allow for their lawns to look like this, they can expect a hefty fine.

"It'll be $150, then you'll have $140 in court cost if you don't plead guilty or pay in advance. If the city goes out and cuts it, then you're also assessed a fee."

McCrady says the city could be using the time and resources for other means.

"Folks that are cutting grass aren't available to patch potholes or fix sidewalks or trim trees or other things I'd rather have them doing."

If the grass is over ten inches, homeowners have five days to cut it or they can expect to receive a fine.
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