You may have noticed that Fort Worth roadsides are a little more unruly this spring. During 2010 budget planning, city leaders decided to cut back on mowing in order to save some cash.
"It doesn't look attractive, but it's not impacting the streets. We have to maintain the streets, that's the infrastructure, we have to have police and fire," said Sandra Youngblood of Fort Worth Parks and Community Services Department.
Starting this spring, the city began cutting back on cutting grass. Now, medians along highways will see a mower once every three weeks instead of two, and "right of ways," areas near homes which cost $500,000 to mow in 2009, will no longer be mowed by the city at all with that funding cut.
"We don't have the luxury of having additional funds right now, so we're asking property owners to step up and maintain their own right of ways," Youngblood said.
The city said it really is up to homeowners. Code compliance no longer has the manpower to enforce mowing laws, so if homeowners don’t mow, it simply won't get done with no one there to issue warnings or fines.
Residents of Fort Worth had mixed reactions to the new plan.
"I think it may be a wise decision as long as it possibly saves up money and helps the economy a little," said resident Alison Porterfield.
Resident Allan Wise said he doesn’t agree, but he understands. "I do a lot of walking. I get bug bites and stuff like that, but on the other hand times are tough. So, they got to cut corners," Wise said.
City leaders said the program should save more than $1 million this year.