Overgrown lawns could cost you

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Mowing the lawn is a task for most homeowners. But whether you like it or not, the City of Lafayette wants you to keep it well maintained.

Lafayette resident Mike Ramey works hard to keep a well manicured lawn.

“I fertilize. I seed. We try to take pride in our house,” Ramey said.

Yet, the yard he’s worked so hard to maintain is overshadowed by the overgrown lawn that lingers next door.

“This is kind of disheartening,” said Ramey. “It devalues my home.”

Ramey won’t have to worry about the grass much longer, all thanks to the City of Lafayette.

Lafayette Street Department employee Scott Pulliam is in charge of citing homeowners with overgrown lawns.

“I drive around on different routes in different parts of the city, different days of the week, and then I’ll just inspect yards as I drive by,” Pulliam said.

According to Pulliam, residences with lawns 10-inches or higher will be cited. After citation, if that lawn isn’t mowed within seven days, the city will step in and take care of it. However, it’s at a cost.

“The city may come out and mow that property for a $50 fine, and a fee on top of that depending on the size of the lot,” Pulliam said.

Those fees can result in a minimum of $200 per citation. Pulliam said unpaid fees could result in a lien on the home.

“Somebody’s going to have to pay that fine,” Pulliam said. “Either the current owner or the new owners will have to pay off that lien.”

Because the overgrowth is a breeding ground for pests like mosquitoes, Pulliam said it will eventually be mowed.

Until then, Ramey said he’s just going to have to deal with the eyesore next door.

“It’s not a big deal, but it’s not a whole lot to ask to mow your grass either,” Ramey expressed.

Bushes and other shrubs also need to be trimmed away from the street and sidewalks.

The City of West Lafayette enforces similar rules when it comes to proper lawn maintenance.

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