City spends millions mowing overgrown properties - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

City spends millions mowing overgrown properties

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In Louisville's Portland neighborhood, one property is so bad weeds are taller than most people. In Louisville's Portland neighborhood, one property is so bad weeds are taller than most people.
Angie Thompson Angie Thompson
Betty Villier Betty Villier
Codes and Regulations Director Jim Mims Codes and Regulations Director Jim Mims

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - If you live near an abandoned property, no doubt you're seeing a lot of green. When it comes to mowing overgrown grass and weeds, the Department of Codes and Regulations spends $2 million a year to maintain unkept lots.

In Louisville's Portland neighborhood, one property is so bad weeds are taller than most people.

An empty lot located at 2613 Northwestern Parkway has become more than an eyesore. "It's become a source of mosquitoes, varmints and crime," Angie Thompson said.

Tassels taller than an NBA player hover over the sidewalk. "It's unsafe for children and it's a breeding ground for insects. You can't even step outside because bugs are so bad," Thompson said.

The lot Thompson referred to is two doors down from her manicured landscaping. It's across the street from Betty Villier.

"It's sickening to have to look at this. I don't even want to walk my kids around here," Villier said.

The eyesore on Northwestern Parkway is one of 1,100 abandoned properties throughout the metro.

Neighbors like Angie Thompson and Betty Villier wonder why the city would let a property become such a nuisance.

"I don't blame them. If you're living next to some place that has that type of problem - it's frustrating," Codes and Regulations Director Jim Mims said.

When a complaint is filed, Codes and Regulations checks it out and opens a case if need be. If city personnel can't track down an owner, mowing crews are dispatched, but that could take weeks or even months. A lien is placed against the property once work is completed.

Mims said sending metro services to mow private property is a last resort. "It's kind of painful for those who live there. All I would say is we understand what you're going through and we're working to get it resolved as quickly as we can," Mims said.

He added caseloads are dramatically less than last year. In 2012, Mims said there were approximately 2,000 unresolved cases. So far, Mims estimated 200 open cases this year.

Mayor Greg Fischer's office recently created a vacant and abandoned property leadership team to reduce eyesores and demolish dangerous structures.

Residents are urged to report vacant and abandoned property by contacting MetroCall 311.

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