By Charles Sercombe
For years people have complained about neighbors who don’t cut their grass.
While the city had the authority to ticket property owners, it had no power to do what many other cities are able to do: Have someone cut the grass and pass on the bill to the homeowner.
And the way it works in other cities is that if the property owner fails to pay the bill, it then goes on the homeowner’s property tax bill. If that tax bill is not paid, the homeowner then risks losing their property in a tax foreclosure sale.
Hamtramck had none of that.
Why the city never got up to speed with other communities is just one of many mysteries of Hamtramck. The short answer is: dysfunction.
But now, the city is beginning to remedy those past omissions. Recently, Acting City Manager Kathy Angerer brought before the city council an ordinance update to allow the city to enter onto private property and cut the offending grass and pass on the charge to the property owner.
Under the law, the city has the right to cut a homeowner’s grass if it is five inches or more in height.
Angerer said future plans call for hiring a company or service to take care of the grass cutting duty.
The city still has to fine-tune the updated law and come up with a price to charge property owners. This update is a first step in combating blight in the city – an issue that has long frustrated city officials and residents.
Angerer also said there will be more updates to city ordinances in the coming months. Next up, she said, will be revamping the city’s sign ordinance.