Council takes on yard waste: Rule aimed at cleaning up grass clippings

CROTHERSVILLE

Grass clippings and yard waste left on Crothersville streets are causing a few problems.

For one, the debris gets into the storm drains and ends up at the wastewater treatment plant, which increases pollution and runoff in the storm sewers. The town has spent money to improve stormwater drainage, and grass and yard waste getting into the drains could affect the infrastructure.

There also are concerns of the grass left in the roadway making it dangerous for two-wheeled vehicles.

Plus, it just makes the town less visually attractive.

The town council recently introduced an ordinance written by town attorney Jeff Lorenzo to regulate the disposal of grass clippings on town streets and set penalties.

Residents could be fined if they knowingly leave grass clippings, leaves or other debris or waste produced in conjunction with yard maintenance or gardening on streets, alleys and other public ways.

The property owner also is responsible to ensure anyone they hire to cut their grass or maintain their yard abides by the ordinance.

After a written warning is issued by the town’s police or street department, the property owner — or tenant if it’s a rental property — would be given 24 hours to clean it up. If they don’t, they would be issued a $20 fine and have five days to pay it at the town hall.

If town employees have to remove the debris, the homeowner also will be responsible for covering that cost.

Failure to pay will result in a lien against the property owner’s real estate to be added to the tax rolls.

The second offense would result in a $40 citation, while it’s $80 for the third offense, $100 for the fourth offense and $100 for the fifth and any subsequent offense.

Fines collected from ordinance violations will be split between the police and street departments.

The council recently unanimously passed the ordinance on first reading. The second and final reading will be during the next council meeting at 6 p.m. Sept. 5 at the town hall.

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.