DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - The cooler than normal weather this month has meant higher than normal grass and 2 NEWS has found it's costing you another kind of green.
"I'd say we'd spent at least $30,000 to $40,000 in overtime just mowing in general," says Dayton Public Works Director Fred Stovall.
That money is just for parks and highways, but the real cost is all the vacant lots the city has to mow.
It cuts about 7,000 of them but of those the city only owns roughly 600.
"With my temporary staffing we probably spend $250,000," Stovall says.
The city has 25 people hired for the summer to mow properties the owners won't.
The goal is to cut each property three times, but with the fast growing grass and the amount of trash found in the yards, workers will likely come up short.
"We might just get two and a half," Stovall says.
That means residents like John Hargrave have seen their frustration grow along with the grass.
"It looked like living in the rain forest," says Hargrave of the grass at the vacant homes near his house before it was cut.
Stovall is asking for patience.
We asked him how it's determined which yards get mowed. He says his crews have a set rotation of neighborhoods they follow.
"If you call and complain it's not going to elevate that we're going to be there tomorrow to cut the grass," Stovall says.
Hargrave for one is happy his neighborhood's turn came earlier this week, but the growing season isn't over yet.
"Stuff's still probably going to be pretty green," Stovall says.
The city tries to get back some of the mowing money it spends by charging $225 for each property it cuts.
It goes on the tax bill, but officials say in many cases those owners who don't mow also don't pay their property taxes.
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