ABILENE, Texas - This may be the week to get out and cut your grass.
Monday marks the beginning of the city of Abilene's zero-tolerance, week-long crackdown on overgrown yards.
Violators face as much as a $500 fine if caught, city officials say.
Recent rains have caused tall grass and weeds to become a problem in Abilene.
City code enforcement officers have started sweeping the streets to find grass more than 12 inches tall and are warning residents to get it cut.
"Our goal is to keep the grass down before August hits," said Bill Whitley, Abilene code enforcement supervisor, "then it's all dead, and we have a big fire hazard."
If grass is more than 12 inches tall, the first course of action is for the city to send out a letter informing the property owner or renter to get it cut within 10 days.
If it is not cut within that time period, a contractor will be sent out to cut it and the violator will be billed to the lot.
"With a house on it, it's $150," Whitley said. "With a vacant lot, it's $145."
However, if grass is already over four feet, it will automatically be cut and a bill will be sent out.
If the owner or renter of the lot refuses to let the contractors mow, or there is an aggressive dog is present, then a $500 fine will be issued.
If any citation is not paid, a lien will be placed on your property that may stay with you for as long as you own the property.
A "non-tolerance week" will occur at the end of the month where those who have been warned and not taken action will automatically be fined.
If you would like to report a lawn or lot that is not in compliance, you can:
*- Visit the Abilene Code Enforcement Office located at city hall on 555 Walnut St.
*- Call (325) 676-6241
*- Or visit the city's website at www.ktxs.com and click on the "Abilene 411" link.
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