For example, fed up with lazy residents who let their grass grow long, the village has decided to dispatch the Department of Public Works to mow lawns longer than 10 inches tall. The expense will show up on the offenders’ property tax bill.
Residents get fair warning – ten days. The bill includes DPW labor, plus administrative processing.
The price is not competitive with local landscaping professionals, assures code enforcement officer Eyal Saad.
“It’s a lot cheaper to hire someone to come in and mow the grass than to have us do it,” Saad said.
It’s not just overgrown lawns. The village is also going after roadside junk, like sofas and televisions with “Free” signs on them. That’s fine for a day or two – as long as the weather cooperates. “Once it’s snowed or rained, then it’s just junk and no one is going to take it,” Saad said.
So far this year, the village has handed out more than 50 such violations, about 15 just in June.
If Saad sees an obvious violation he will either talk to the property owner or send a warning letter. When he sends a letter, Saad said he sends it Certified Return Receipt, which costs $5.80, which the village taxpayers end up paying through Saad’s yearly budget.
Many of the violators are repeat offenders. Some are rentals. Others are properties in the foreclosure process. But there’s always an owner, and that owner needs to make arrangements to keep the lot looking nice.
“We really want people to be more proactive and take care of their properties,” Saad said. “Have some pride in their places and keep the village nice looking.”