We'd look better if we'd weed our property, Price City says
While the recent rainfall has been a welcome sight for an area grappling with drought conditions, that same rain helping saturate the soil is also unearthing an eyesore of weeds in yards and in every crack and crevice along city streets.
Along some streets in Price City, passersby can see weeds - some as high as six feet tall - breaking through the smallest of openings in the street. As the monsoon season nears its end this month, city officials are hoping that residents will help do their part in quelling the problems with weeds.
Gary Sonntag, Price City Public Works director, said the city would like to help out as much as possible with clearing away weeds. However, the city is not responsible for clearing out weeds in areas that are a property owner's responsibility, including the front of a property and on the property itself, Sonntag explained.
"The city cannot get out to every location and clear out weeds," said Sonntag. "People (homeowners) have a responsibility to take care of weeds along their properties."
Sonntag said he has seen weeds that have grown out of control since the start of the summer season. Some weeds, he explained, could be mistaken for something else.
"In some places, the weeds are starting to look like trees," he said.
City workers with the Streets Department have worked on trying to cut down the problems with weeds, especially along ditches, street corners and in areas around street signs. Sonntag said the city wants to make sure that street signs are clearly visible to motorists as well as pedestrians walking along streets in the within the city.
According to chapter 17.13.4 within the Price City land use and development management code, "all premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of 12 inches in height". The code also goes on to say that weeds are "defined as grasses, annual plants and vegetation other than trees or shrubs...(but) shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens".
While there may be a problem with a property owner not clearing away weeds on their property or areas along the property that they are responsible for, the city does not look to give out tickets immediately.
"Usually the city will post a notice letting the homeowner know some weeds need to be cleared away within a set period of time," said Nick Tatton, Price City community director. Should the problem not be resolved within the allotted time, then a ticket may be an option, Tatton explained.
The problems with weeds are not just limited to the city, businesses and homeowners, other entities including Utah Department of Transportation and Union Pacific are responsible for clearing away weeds and debris that fall in line with their rights of way. Sonntag said he has been in contact with both entities on clearing away the weed growth in areas they are responsible for. However, despite the recent growth of weeds in those areas, Sonntag said the city cannot just go in and do the work for them.
While taking care of a property can be a time consuming task, keeping areas cleared from weeds can help improve the look of the city, especially to the eyes of people not from the area, Sonntag said.
Tips for clearing out weeds include using weed repellant spray on affected areas more than once during the late spring and summer seasons and watching areas along a property where any cracks or crevices are located where weeds may sprout from.
"Residents need to try their best at controlling the weeds in advance," said Sonntag.
If residents have questions about areas they may or may not be responsible for cleaning, they can contact Price City Public Works at 637-5010.