Hagerstown bills state for grass, weed cleanup

September 18, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

The city of Hagerstown has billed the state of Maryland for $637 because it had to bring in workers to cut grass and weeds around the former armory on Tuesday, officials said Thursday.

Grass and weeds had grown to 3 to 4 feet high and mulberry and maples trees were 8 to 10 feet high between the fence and pavement, said Marc David, the city's code enforcement officer.

The crew ended up filling two small dump trucks, David said.

A five-member crew spent three to four hours chopping and mowing the weeds, trees and grass along the sides and behind the 328 N. Potomac St. building, he said.

It was tedious work because the area hadn't been mowed in months, said Mike Heyser, the city's building inspector.

In August, City Councilman J. Wallace McClure said the property looked "atrocious."

City officials had said they would have crews clean up the property and bill the state if they couldn't get the Maryland Department of General Services to clean it up.


David had been trying to contact state officials about the problem since July 15 because he received a complaint about the property.

David said he issued a notice on July 28 warning the state it was in violation of the weed ordinance. There also was trash on the property.

About a month ago, state officials asked if the city could cut the grass and the answer was no, said Dave Humphrey, spokesman for the Department of General Services.

A private contractor was hired, Humphrey said.

David said city crews didn't cut the grass. A crew from the Victor Cullen Academy did it for free, he said.

"If we start cutting everybody's grass, they're just going to wait until we cut it," David said.

David said he doesn't want to have to have the property cleaned up again.

"We will work with the city to make sure this does not occur again," Humphrey said.

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