Resident raises lawn care concern
Peabody’s poorly maintained lawns look bad to visitors of the city’s summer events, resident Kim Nellans said at Monday’s city council meeting.
“I’m glad to help,” she said. “My husband is glad to help. He said mow the alleys with his tractor.”
Landowners are responsibile for alleys up to the middle.
Residents entering private property they don’t own raises problems with liability councilman Travis Wilson said.
“We’ve had people in the past volunteer to do it,” he said. “The problem is when we run into insurance. If you throw a rock up on somebody else’s property and it goes through the window, who’s going to pay for it?”
City employees mow yards with high grass after proper steps are taken, but that doesn’t solve the problem since many of those landowners aren’t local residents, Burk said.
“The city doesn’t want to be in the business of mowing people’s yards, but if we have to then we want to be compensated,” he said.
When Burk finds a lawn higher than 12 inches he sends a notice, but he must wait 10 days before the public works department can take action. If the lawn is mowed by city employees compensation will be added to the landowner’s taxes.
“I can tell public works to go mow it, but then the city has no leg to stand on to get paid or to put that cost against the property tax roll,” he said.
Maintaining yards is difficult for residents who don’t have good enough health, resident Linda Martinez said.
“I’m sure there are also people who live here and don’t have the ability,” she said. “Maybe they’re sick, disabled and physically can’t, or don’t have a mower.”
When Burk finds a resident who can’t mow, he contacts a volunteer group at Peabody’s United Methodist Church.