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Toledo will add more nuisance properties to mowing rotation

Many properties to be cut 14 times this year
More properties to be added to Toledo's 2022 mowing schedule
Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 2:07 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - It’s become an unfortunate part of spring in Toledo lately, literally a growing problem. It’s the tall grass dotting vacant properties.

A proactive plan to keep it under control is getting even more proactive. Although it’s coming with an increased cost.

The frustrating part of tall grass in a neighbor’s yard or a vacant property is that it’s a mess you didn’t create.

“We don’t want citizens to get used to looking at a property next door and just saying that’s high grass, I called last month I’m not going to call again. We shouldn’t have to rely on our citizens to call and complain about the grass,” said Megan Robson with Toledo’s Department of Public Service.

In 2018 the city of Toledo started hiring private crews to cut these properties. As the program has advanced, the city added more nuisance properties to the rotation to be cut around 14 times.

“We noticed last year through phone calls that came in that 14 mows was an adequate service level delivery that people were not calling in and complaining about grass as much as they had been in years before,” said Dennis Kennedy, Commissioner of Code Enforcement.

The idea from the city is to stay on top of nuisance properties. For 2022 the city has added more than 1700 properties to its rotation, places cut 1-2 times last year will get 14 times this year. Nearly 74 million square feet of property will be cut.

Increased work comes with an increased cost as city leaders asked council Wednesday for $850,000 extra.

“Why wasn’t this included in the 2022 budget initially that was submitted in November? Or then why not included in the amendments before council earlier this year? We’re in the first week of the second quarter so coming to us with an additional appropriation really make me question why your due diligence didn’t happen earlier,” said Toledo city councilwoman Katie Moline.

The response was that the city didn’t have all the data then to accurately determine how many lots would need cutting and how often.

Speaking of money, each property owner is invoiced for cutting. If the bill isn’t paid collection agencies are used and eventually it’s added to the tax bill.

“Some of these property owners are ghosts in the wind and they don’t pay their tax bills along with their invoices from the city services that’s why 1777 of them are certified delinquent by the county,” said Kennedy.

In addition to the private crews the city hires, they’ll use an in-house crew especially for hot spots and places that may not be on their rotation.

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