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Civic clubs discussing cleanup plans

By John Miller, 07/9/24 2:05 PM

PRESCOTT – Representatives from the Prescott Lions and Kiwanis Club were on hand for Tuesday’s Rotary meeting to discuss a community cleanup project.

Rowe Stayton said the idea is to help seniors and the infirm who can’t mow and take care of their own yards, not those who simply neglect their property or land that is owned by out-of-state mortgage companies.  He pointed out this isn’t to hurt those who are in business to do yard work, but to help those who can’t afford to pay someone to mow their lawns. He pointed out the city council has discussed an ordinance to require people to clean and maintain their yards.

George Glass said the city has an ordinance and used to give people 30-days notice to clean their property up and if they didn’t the city would and send them a bill. If the bill wasn’t paid, a lien would be placed on the property until it was.

Mary Godwin, executive director or the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, handed out printouts of three properties which could qualify under the club’s plans. She pointed out beautification is part of her job as EDO director. The problem, she said, isn’t people who haven’t mowed because of the weather, but those who simply don’t bother. She added the city ordinance has been amended twice and now gives people 14 days to mow or be fined $100, but the problem is a lot of properties are owned by out-of-state mortgage companies that really don’t care. The city, she continued, can’t keep up with all the properties involved and there’s a lot of paperwork involved in putting liens on property.

Stayton said Hempstead County has an ordinance that puts a lien on property of those who don’t pay for trash pickup. This project, Stayton said, needs to be a joint venture between all the civic clubs, with the Lions and Kiwanis joining in. Godwin chimed in saying there’s not as many people who need help mowing as they may think.

There was also talk about helping clean shrubs and brush from people’s houses. Godwin said the city doesn’t need to get involved with this issue because of liability problems. Stayton agreed liability is an issue, adding homeowners can be guilty of creating an unattractive nuisance for letting their property go.

It was agreed to look into the liability situation and make sure the clubs are covered.