If your grass gets more than twelve inches high in Union Springs, the city will come and cut it for you. But there's a catch. You'll have to pay for it.
Union Springs Mayor Saint T. Thomas, Jr. says the city has a big problem with yards with tall weeds, hiding snakes and spiders and posing a threat to nearby homes. He says those homeowners are speaking out.
"They wanted to, you know, to have a comfortable place to live and not be afraid to go on the outside, and we understood that," he said.
So the City Council passed an ordinance. If your grass gets too high, the city will hire someone to cut it for you, and you'll get the bill. Union Springs had a similar rule on the books before, but city officials say it wasn't working.
"We had to go to go court, according to what the ordinance called for, and because of going to court, it took such a long time, by the time we go to court and get that over with, it's winter time and the weeds are taken care of," said Thomas.
People in Union Springs say they're split over whether the ordinance is a good idea.
"They can have kids or whatever, and snakes are bad, they mate in May. So yeah, they need that," said Catherine Smith, who says she supports the ordinance.
Union Springs resident Adrian Jackson says he's not so sure. "I don't know, because let's say you want to cut your grass Tuesday, but Monday it's too long, so they come and cut your grass and leave you the bill, and you're going to cut it anyway. That's the bad thing," said Jackson.
Thomas says people will be given notice to cut their grass before the city does it. He says most of the problem isn't coming from full-time residents. "It's not the people that are living here in Union Springs, it's the absentee landowners more than likely, the problem that we have it," he said.
Union Springs officials say police will not be patrolling, looking for people with tall grass in their yards. Those cases must be reported by neighbors. If you receive a grass-cutting ticket and do not pay it, you will have the fee added to your property tax, until you pay it.