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City of Brazil Taking on Chores

A Brazil city ordinance says grass cannot exceed eight inches, so officials are spending $12,000 a year to mow more than 100 lawns.
Brazil has mowed a total of 109 lawns throughout 2013 and the money to mow those lawns is coming out of tax payers' pockets.

"It is by ordinance, which an ordinance is a law, that you do have to maintain your property," said Teresa Glenn of Brazil planning and zoning.

That ordinance states grass and other shrubs must not be taller than eight inches causing the city to cut lawns that have been left to grow wild.

"Most of the properties that we are taking care of are abandoned," said Glenn. "Some of it due to the economy again. Properties have been foreclosed. People just walked away from them for whatever reason."

Lawn maintenance is paid for through the city's general fund, which receives all it's cash flow from tax payers.

"It costs us around $12,000 a year," Glenn said.

Brazil officials receive calls from concerned neighbors and even keep an eye on the lawns themselves. Glen suggests that if neighbors help each other, it could relieve stress from the city's wallet.

"Just a knock on the door and say 'Hey I noticed your grass is getting high, is there anything I can do to help. I have a lawn mower you're welcome to use or I can cut it for you,'" said Glenn.

Brazil places a lien on each property where they mow. The cost is then added to the next tax bill. Glenn expects the city to get back 60 to 70 percent of their costs back.
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