Uncut grass may cost more in Ludington.

May 23, 2016

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Property owners in the city who do not mow their lawns will face heftier fines if a new ordinance is passed tonight by City Council. The city already has a grass mowing ordinance, which states that if a property owner fails to cut grass or weeks that have exceeded 10 inches in height, the city can arrange to cut the grass. This includes an “overhead” charge in addition to labor costs. If the fine is not paid, the city will then place the fines on the property tax bill.

“In some cases, especially for property owners who live out of town, the city has to have the grass cut on a more regular basis, presumably because the property owner feels it is less expensive for the city to have the grass cut than to hire a private contractor to cut the grass on a regular basis,” City Manager John Shay wrote in a memorandum to Mayor Ryan Cox and the City Council.

The new ordinance will basically increase penalties for repeat offenders. It would include:

  • A 10% late fee added to the bill if it is not paid within 30 days. The late fee is in addition to the current ordinance that allows the city to charge the property owner for the cost to cut the grass plus a 25% overhead charge. Any unpaid amount is then placed on the property owner’s taxes.
  • A civil infraction — in addition to the above costs — will be issued for a property owner who violates the ordinance a second time. If the court finds the property owner responsible, it could issue an additional fine of $250. For a third offense, the property owner would receive another civicl infraction and a possible $350 fine.

“The goal of this would be to provide sufficient financial incentive for property owners to cut their grass on a regular basis in order to avoid having the city to cut the grass at all,” Shay said.

City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. at city hall, 400 S. Harrison St.

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