City Of Tulsa Struggling To Keep Up With Tall Grass Complaints

Thursday, August 29th 2013, 6:37 pm

The city of Tulsa says a rainy summer has turned into thousands of complaints about neighbors with high grass, even as the city tries to keep up with mowing public property.

The rain has turned well meaning people into scofflaws who can't keep their grass cut down to regulation: that's under 12 inches tall.

The city is even having trouble staying in the guidelines.

The city has dozens of contract workers out mowing as much and as fast as they can, but they can't keep up with grass fueled by regular rainfall.

It turns out the city budget can't flex much to accommodate unusual rainfall, so the grass will get cut nine times this year, regardless. That comes out to about once every three weeks.

"And we're struggling this August, because of the heavy rain and the grass is growing more than we would normally expect in August and our contractors are having to work overtime to try to keep up, and it's been a struggle," said Roy Teeters, with the City of Tulsa.

City councilors say they're getting plenty of complaints about high grass on city property and in the neighborhoods, and about how the city won't do anything about it.

"I get calls daily from people who say they've reported these things for weeks," said Councilor Jeannie Cue.

The council called in the people who handle city mowing and those who enforce the rules for regular folks. Code enforcement says it can take up to 45 days between the first report of a problem to a resolution, if the city ends up doing the mowing.

High grass reported today could keep growing until mid-October.

"And the way we've been having rain, it just makes it worse," said Dwain Midget, with the City of Tulsa.

While the city has a backlog of complaints about grass, they especially want to hear about grass that's a hazard to drivers.

"If it's blocking the view of oncoming traffic, they need to call us. We react quickly to those kind of incidents," Teeters said.

That backlog gives homeowners a little breathing room--it's going to take a while for an inspector to get around. Still, the city says grass should be no higher than 12 inches, but it needs to be a lot shorter than that to keep your neighbors happy.

Report tall grass online here.