Youngstown officials approve grass cutting funds

High grass cutting in Youngstown, Ohio

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown City Council members are ready to move forward with a program that will keep grass cut in the city.

It is a topic that has been discussed for some time now. Members of council said Monday’s meeting was very productive, and very different than the finance meeting last week on this same topic, which turned into an argument about race.

It was a much different tone on Monday.

“I think that they understood that if we did not these answers, we were not going to pass the legislation. That is the bottom line,” 6th Ward Councilwoman Janet Tarpley said.

She was one of the council members involved in the heated argument last week. The other was 4th Ward Councilman Mike Ray.

Tarpley said she got the answers on Monday that she was looking for last week. In a unanimous vote, council members approved funding for the program.

“I am comfortable with the way things went today. The fact that we are going to move forward, the fact that my residents are going to get what they deserve,” Tarpley said.

Beginning April 15, the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation will be responsible for cutting grass taller than 6 inches, on both vacant and non-vacant lots in the city. During the next water bill cycle, residents will receive a notice about the new legislation.

If someone from the YNDC has to cut the grass, the cost will then be attached to the property owner’s water bill. That money will go to YNDC”s expenses, such as paying workers to do the job.

“We are not interested in being the grass cutters for everyone. That is why we have to charge people. That is why we have to look at cheaper ways to do it,” Youngstown Mayor John McNally said.

McNally said it is a huge project and it will be a lot of work, but it will be worth it in the end.

“I think a lot of neighbors and residents throughout the city, hopefully will be happy once we are able to get things rolling,” YNDC Director Ian Beniston said.

McNally said he plans to sign the legislation Tuesday to make the program official.

The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation is looking to hire workers to cut grass. Beniston said job postings will be on the website as soon as this week.

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