BY MELANIE BUCK –
Not only has the rain caused the cancellation of celebrations, major road damage, and more unseen problems, it has also caused Mena Beautification Officer Tammy Stockton, a busy few days. Stockton said that she has sent twenty-eight notices for grass being too high in citizen’s lawns. As part of the Beautification Ordinance, citizens are required to keep their lawns cut below 12 inches in height.
The Ordinance says: “It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, partnership, association of persons, owners, agent, occupant, or anyone having supervision or control of any lot, tract, parcel of land, or portion thereof, occupied or unoccupied, improved or unimproved within corporate limits of the City of Mena, to suffer or permit any of the following conditions: A. Grass, weeds, or any other plant that is not cultivated, to grow to a height greater than 1 foot (12 inches), from grade… This requirement shall not apply to any portion of any property that is more than one hundred fifty feet from any developed lot.”
Stockton said that the City gets complaints about the unkempt lawns and that she checks them all and of the twenty-eight warnings already sent, nearly all of them had responded and most are saying that it’s just too wet to mow. “When I start walking through a yard and start sinking in mud, then I know they can’t mow it. Some of them are older folks that have riding lawn mowers that will sink and get stuck and they are unable to push mow it,” said Stockton.
She added, “Please, bear with us as we have had an enormous amount of rain the last six to eight weeks. I know yards have overgrown in the last few weeks but many of the yards are sitting in water at this time. It’s hard to cut those when your blades won’t cut wet grass or your mowers get stuck. The people are wanting to do it, we just have to wait for them to have enough dry days to do it.”
Mena Mayor George McKee has asked that when folks mow, to please also mow the area between the sidewalk and the curb. He said that there are very few Street Department workers and there are not enough of them to mow in front of all the houses in the City.
Another complaint the City has been working on for several years is the old Councell’s Corner area, on the corner of Reine and Reeves Streets. Stockton said that work is ongoing and that the owner’s son is having the roof of the largest building on the site replaced and plans to replace the roofs of the other structures as well. Stockton said the foundation and walls of the largest building are sound but that in addition to the roof, Code Enforcement Officer Frank Meade said the plumbing and electric also have to be replaced.
Stockton explained that the owner has recently been placed into nursing care and that her son is doing his best, especially for someone living out-of-state.