Growing Out of Control

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Complaints about high grass are pouring in to townships and cities around the Valley.

In some areas, grass is growing out of control at vacant houses and work crews encounter just about everything from branches embedded in the grass to dumped garbage.

Austintown Township Trustee Jim Davis said crews are doing their best to keep up with the work. He said at the last township meeting, trustees abated 53 nuisances.

Harvey Crowley, with the Austintown Township Nuisance Crew, said not only does he clean up yards across Austintown, he also helps with a vacant lot next door to his own house.

“I’ve cut it myself. The other neighbor cuts it. You can only do so much,” said Crowley.

Residents who are fed up turn to the township for help by calling the zoning office.

“Then what we do is send out our field inspector within 24 hours and that home is inspected,” Davis said. “Then that complaint is brought to the board of trustees at one of our regular meetings.”

The property owner gets 10 days to fix the problem and if they don’t, the township cuts the grass and charges the owner for the service through a property lien.

In Boardman, 102 properties are on the list for officials to investigate.

“They get seven days to do it themselves after we notify them,” said Boardman Township Zoning Inspector Sarah Gartland. “If we haven’t got anything done by then and it’s 10 inches high, then yes, we have the authority to cut it and recoup our costs as a lien.”

Officials in both townships urge patience because the process takes time.

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