Who’s paying for the high grass next door

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A yard in Dayton is generating the wrong kind of buzz.

“It’s hard to use the deck when the bees are dive bombing,” says Aime Taylor.

Taylor says the high grass is one of the things that’s attracted bees to the backyard next door.

“We enjoy being up here and we know people are trying to revitalize the neighborhood and things like that drag it down,” Taylor says.

That property is one of 8,000 vacant properties that the city is in the process of not only mowing, but clearing of trash.

“We have a rotation,” says Public Works Director Fred Stovall. “The only way we can do this and do it fair is we have a rotation and we have to stay within our rotation.”

But 2 NEWS has learned the cost of all that cutting is $400,000 to $500,000 a year. The city bills $225 for cutting a yard.

If it goes unpaid it goes on the owner’s property tax bill, but it’s still hard to collect.

“You know if they’re abandoning a property they’re probably not paying the property taxes,” Stovall says.

So, you end up paying the bill.

Take the property with the bee problem.  We looked up the owner and found he owes more than five-thousand dollars in taxes on that property and even more on others.

We tried to call him, but only got a voicemail.

So, it’s up to neighbors or the city to cut the grass and the check.

“I wish we could get there faster but with the resources we have that’s the best effort we can give this,” Stovall says.

The city plans to do three rounds of mowing this year but that’s weather dependent. A lot of rain will set crews back.

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