Residents might get less time to mow tall grass

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(Posted June 23, 2017)

By Dedra Cordle, Staff Writer

It’s the height of mowing season, and the height of some grass has city officials in London mulling their options.

At the June 15 council meeting, council member Rex Castle questioned whether the city code should change regarding the time property owners have to mow their lawns after receiving an official complaint notification.

“Should we look at trying to reduce the amount of time so that they don’t get to be forests?” Castle asked.

Currently, the city code allows property owners 30 days to comply after receiving notification from the city about the state of their lawn. Castle said he would like to see that time trimmed significantly.

Mayor Pat Closser agreed.

“I think a week would suffice,” he said. “Grass can grow pretty high in 30 days.”

Council asked that the safety committee pick up the discussion at their upcoming meeting and come back to council with a recommendation in July.

As with most cities, neglected lawns are an ongoing issue in the city of London.

According to Amy Rees, the city’s executive assistant, high grass is a problem that occurs every year so it was no surprise to officials when the issue sprung up again.

Rees said that for the most part, London residents do maintain their lawns, but naturally the city would like to see everyone adequately maintain their lawns.

Not only is noxious grass unsightly, she said, but it also can pose a safety hazard to surrounding homes and communities.

“High grass attracts a lot of critters and skunks and mosquitoes,” she said.

Rees said the city hopes to curb the hazard tall grass poses by shortening the duration of time residents have to comply with the mow order.

If residents fail to comply, she said, they face an assessment on their property taxes should the city have to hire a mowing company to mow for them.

In other council action:

New Street Equipment. The city has ordered new equipment for its street department. At the June 15 meeting, council announced they would enter into a bond agreement with Madison County to purchase a skid steer and a wheel loader.

Under the terms of the agreement, the bond will not exceed $112,000 for the acquisition order and the city will pay 3 percent interest per annum. The bond will be paid over the course of five years.

Council member Brenda Russell said she did not know the use of a skid steer and a wheel loader until she saw the equipment in use during Phase II of the Access Cowling playground project.

She said seeing the equipment in person made her understand its usefulness in current and upcoming city projects.

Bridge Weight Limit. Recently, the Ohio Department of Transportation contacted Joe Mosier, the city’s safety service director, regarding the Park Avenue Bridge.

According to Mosier, the department recommended the city reduce the vehicular weight limit on the bridge as the road itself has seen an influx of high volume traffic due to recent construction projects.

Council agreed with the department and voted to reduce the weight limit.

Under the new restrictions, the maximum allowable weight is 26 tons per truck and load, depending on the axel configuration of the truck.

Mosier said signs stating the new weigh limits will be posted on both ends of Park Avenue. He added that the signs also will be posted at both ends of the bridge.

LED street lights. While giving a finance committee report, Castle said a company recently proposed that the city purchase new street lights equipped with LED technology as a way to save money.

Castle said the committee will look further into the matter and bring it up at a future council meeting, should they determine switching to LED lights would indeed save the city money.

The next finance committee meeting is July 10. Closser said the committee requested a permanent change of their meeting date so that it falls on the first Monday after the council meeting.

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