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Weeds pose problems for residents, businesses across city

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By KEVIN SCANNELL
Sun Advocate reporter

Taking a stroll along some sidewalks around Price could make some people feel as if they were hiking in the backcountry.

Weeds protruding from lawns and the smallest cracks and crevices in the concrete have been posing a problem for residents and businesses as some sidewalks and areas in the town are nearly impossible to walk through without being scratched or tickled by weeds.

The weed problem, which affects much of Carbon County, was exacerbated by the amount of rainfall the county has received from spring through the summer.

"It's been a banner year for weeds," said Gary Sonntag, Price City public works director.

While it may seem like an easy fix for any city in the county to visit a site where weeds are posing a problem and take care of it themselves, budget cutbacks, less manpower and ordinances say otherwise.

In Price City, a recently released Land Use Development and Management Code includes within it ordinances stating what weeds are and who is responsible for dealing with weeds.

The code says on exterior property areas "All premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of 12 inches in height." The code also states that all types of noxious weeds shall be prohibited. Weeds are defined in the code as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs provided; but does not include cultivated flowers and gardens.

Much like snowfall, weeds on the sidewalk in front of a home or business are the responsibility of that particular home or business.

Price City Community Director Nick Tatton said the city is still in the process of implementing a database system that will be used to help keep track of whether homeowners and businesses are following city ordinances. The system should be in place and ready for use by next month, Tatton said.

If a homeowner or business in is violation of an ordinance, they can be given a notice to take care of the weeds. If the homeowner or business does not comply within a reasonable amount of time, they could eventually run the risk of a citation, Tatton said.

Many residents have called the city to complain about problems they are seeing with weeds growing. Tatton said the city will take all phone calls from residents calling to complain about weeds, but he said the city will not allow for anyone to request anonymity.

The updated code is more direct than the previous version, Tatton said, and should create a lot less confusion when dealing with problems such as weeds.

Copies of the updated code are available at City Hall and is also available on the city's website, www.pricecityutah.com.




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