TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The City of Toledo's new get-tough policy on tall grass and the city's new approach to tackling the problem is resulting in improved conditions around the city, that according to Public Service Director Ed Moore.
"The Neighborhood Beautification Action team is the front line against slum and blight in the city," said Moore.
Changes approved by council earlier this year allowed city crews to immediately cut grass and weeds taller than eight inches and then charge the property owner.
"We're able to make on-site determination whether or not a lot needed to be cut versus waiting for a complaint to come in, getting a work order and going out and cutting it at that time. What it did is allow us to be more efficient," said Moore.
Moore says crews this year have completed 7,931 mowing orders, compared to 3,026 orders completed in 2010.
"By allowing us to focus on entire neighborhoods and doing one council district per week, we localize out forces in one area and cut a lot more lots".
For someone who takes care of his lawn on Fernwood Ave., Herman Abbott appreciates the effort to keep his neighborhood looking good.
"I think it's a good idea if they could accomplish something, but I think some of the problem is when somebody owns some land and they're not here," said Abbott.
George Williams says if the city's getting tough on property owners for tall grass, the city needs to take better care of the properties in its possession.
"I think they're doing the best they can with what they got but I still think they can do a little better," said Abbott.
Councilwoman Paula Hicks-Hudson said she is receiving fewer complaints, an indication the city's doing a better job.
"That's why you have government to provide citizens with services they can't get as individuals. We need to get back to being in the business of providing that service," said Hicks- Hudson.
The NBA program is paid with Community Development Block Grant money and Moore says the additional work isn't breaking the budget. How much the city is collecting in fines and charges to property owners is not known at this time, a request has been made to the mayor's office for that information which is expected to be available at a later date.
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