By Kalea Hall
The township is using a more cost-effective way of handling nuisance grass problems this year.
Instead of contracting out lawn-care jobs to outside companies, part-time, as needed employees are doing the work for the township.
“We wanted more control and quicker service,” said Sarah Gartland, township zoning inspector.
Last year, the zoning department had an estimated 219 instances of cutting grass and hired someone to cut the grass — a number representatives said has grown over the years.
Through the process, the township discovered properties can be handled faster if there is a team on hand to avoid adding another step in the process of hiring a company. Trustees recently approved the purchase of a $6,000 mower to help with cutting grass on nuisance properties.
Contracting out would cost the township anywhere from $200 to $250 per job, while paying employees of the township to cut grass costs $100 to $150 per job.
There are three members of the grass-cutting operation at the township. Two crew members make $10 an hour and a supervisor makes $12.
“I know our biggest problems are the vacant, abandoned properties,” Gartland said.
The township does not get involved in grass cutting until the grass reaches 10 inches. From there, trustees have to declare the property a nuisance, and the zoning department gives the listed owner of the property seven days to respond.
“I think we are always going to have some properties [to cut],” said Jason Loree, township administrator.
Gartland is hopeful that in the future, the amount of properties in need of attention for grass cutting and any “general junk” on property complaints will be reduced. She also hopes the township will start to see money come in from the liens placed on the properties for taking care of the nuisance issues.
“The liens will eventually pay off the equipment and the salaries,” Gartland said.
Any resident with complaints about Boardman properties may call the township at 330-726-4177.