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MAYOR GRAHAM RICHARD

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The City of Fort Wayne's Neighborhood Code Enforcement Department started its summer weed program this month. Code enforcement officers are posting properties where the grass or other vegetation exceeds nine inches in height. Property owners have five days to cut the weeds or contractors will remove the vegetation and the City will bill the owner for the cost of the cutting plus an administrative fee.

Code enforcement officers are dedicating one week of each summer month to weed sweeps and will post properties in violation of neighborhood code. Weed sweep weeks are May 5-9, June 9-13, July 7-11, August 11-15 and September 15-19. City residents are also encouraged to report overgrown weeds or high grass directly to Neighborhood Code by calling 427-1329.

Weeds are a nuisance, a health hazard and an eyesore in Fort Wayne's neighborhoods. Tall grasses gather trash and other litter, can be dangerous for children playing and, in times of wet weather, can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. I urge property owners to take responsibility for keeping their land mowed to a reasonable height.

The City's weed program has improved greatly in the last few years. Code officers are posting more neglected properties. Changes in the bidding process for mowing contractors has helped the City reduce the average cost to cut weeds by 70 percent. Again, I ask all residents of Fort Wayne to be on the lookout for high grass and overgrown yards and report those conditions to Neighborhood Code. Enforcement officers will survey the property within a few days.

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