Tall grass mowing fees to nearly double

By Jonathan Delozier - jdelozier@aimmediamidwest.com

Nearly doubled fees to have village workers mow overgrown grass and weeds on properties within Wellington’s limits were approved Monday by council.

The fees will rise to $180 per one-fourth-acre lot that is mowed. In May 2015, the fees were set at $100.

The village will charge $20 for inspection, $40 for mowing, $35 for equipment costs and fuel, $9 for letter writing and postage, $20 for clean-up, $8 for maintenance, $20 for invoicing, and $28 for tax lien preparation.

The village’s codified ordinances authorize the mowing of properties once grass or weeds exceed a height of eight inches. If a resident fails to pay the fees, they are added on to their local taxes.

Officials had considered increasing fees another $20 or $70, but settled at the new rates through discussion with public works superintendent Bob Brasee and finance director Vanya Hales, said village manager Steve Dupee.

“It’s been a while since those fees were looked at,” Dupee said. “I wanted to go back to the folks who do this work every year and have them give me their best estimate on what their expenses are. Our first estimates at $150 for mowing were close to their numbers.”

Officials hope the ultimate result of the increase isn’t just to cover costs but to act as a deterrent for grass growing too tall in the first place.

“There’s better things we can put time, money, and effort toward than mowing vacant properties,” said mayor Hans Schneider. “When we engage in those activities it takes away from other things. Our public works department has a lot of projects to do and its guys are being pulled in different directions. We’re not in the lawn mowing business. We want to take care of village property but not private property.”

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.

By Jonathan Delozier