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Tall grass and weed complaints pile up in OKC

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OKLAHOMA CITY-- It's an eyesore that can drag down property values. Unfortunately, complaints about tall grass and weeds are all too common this time of year.

One frustrated homeowner, near N.W. 12th St. and Portland Ave., says his neighbor's property is a public nuisance. From the street, the house is barely visible through the waist-high grass and weeds.

Chris Pruett said, "This is just a complete eyesore in the neighborhood."

The growth in the backyard is even worse.

He said, "It's a jungle back here!"

In recent months, the city also ordered the owners to tear down a dilapidated porch, leading to piles of boards and bent nails.

Pruett said, "The city asked them to remove the structure. The owner moved it to the ground and left the debris laying."

Pruett's problem is all too common.

Beth Crounse, Oklahoma City Action Center manager, said, "This is the number one complaint we get every year is high grass and weeds."

This year, the Oklahoma City Action Center has dealt with 11,000 cases of high grass and weeds. Last year, they worked 21,000 cases and many are repeat offenders.

Crounse said, "Repeat offenders are common.  We have people who just don't care what their property looks like."

She says the high number of complaints has led to a backlog of work for city contractors.

Crounse said, "This particular property will be another three to four weeks, unfortunately, before it does get mowed because the contractors are booked up."

Pruett said, "You know it's a big mess. It's not good for the neighborhood. I'd like something done with it."

Whenever the city hires a contractor to cut the grass at a home, the city bills the owner the cost of the job, plus a $250 fine.

Despite the workload, the city encourages anyone with similar problems to contact the Action Center and file a complaint.