In recent dry years the lawn mower may have spent more time inside the garage than outside cutting grass.
But this wet spring has changed all that.
And as lawns are flourishing so are the complaints about uncut grass. The Brainerd Police Department has logged numerous calls on unkempt, shaggy yards. The maintenance standard in Brainerd means grass and weeds cannot exceed a height of 6 inches.
"It's a problem for insects and weeds and it's terrible for the neighborhood," said Elizabeth Harris, crime prevention specialist with the Brainerd Police Department.
If a property owner fails to cut the grass within five days of receiving a notice from the city, the property owner may be billed for the work. The city pays the contractor to do the work and sends an invoice to the property owner attaching a $25 administrative fee to the bill.
Tall grass grew Thursday in a yard in north Brainerd. Lawns with uncut grass of 6 inches or more are the target of a nuisance ordinance that controls unkempt lawns on parcels in Brainerd.
Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls
» Purchase reprints of this photo.
If the bill isn't paid, the amount - plus interest - is certified to the property taxes for the following year.
Harris said some of the complaints involve homes in foreclosure and vacant lots. Recently, the city received 30 complaints about long grass on a single day. Harris said there is a connection between poorly maintained property and crime.
"It can give the appearance no one is watching or no one cares," Harris said.
With all the rain this spring, Harris said the department is working with property owners.
"We just bend over backwards to make it work out so if they have a problem, they should call us," Harris said.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.