Wendell: Shaggy grass could save money

September 2, 2009 

— Town leaders are looking for ways to save money, and they may just let the grass grow a little shaggier.

Commissioners are reviewing a list of more than 50 locations where town employees cut grass, including some rights-of-way that would normally be the responsibility of the property owner.

Commissioners have agreed to wait until Sept. 14 before they reduce the size of the list. At that time, Town Attorney Jim Cauley will suggest language commissioners could adopt that would give the town authority to require property owners to cut the grass in the right-of-way.

Public Works Director Alton Bryant said the town could also eliminate grass rights-of-way that belong to the City of Raleigh following the merger of the towns' water and sewer systems. Bryant has also suggested that the town could cut the grass less often. His employees cut all the grass every week.

According to Bryant, two town employees each spend 31/2 days a week cutting grass during warm weather. Bryant and other town officials aren't sure how much money the town spends on grass cutting and aren't sure how much money would be saved by requiring property owners to take over this duty.

But commissioners also say the system is hard to justify because some property owners get the benefit of the town's mowing services, while others do not.

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