Budget cuts lead to residents maintaining Macomb County property - KMSP-TV

Warren resident: I was told to cut Macomb County property grass or be cited

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (myFOXDetroit.com) -

Angie Potter takes pride in her Warren property, cutting her grass sometimes 3 times a week. But Tuesday a city worker came knocking at her door, and said not only would she be responsible for cutting her own lawn - but the county's grass as well, that stretches the length of her property along Hoover near 10 Mile.

"He said they no longer want to fund it. They said they don't have the money for it. I told him, well we don't have the money for the gas, it's hard times right now for people," Potter told Fox 2's Taryn Asher.  

But if residents like Angie don't mow the lawn, they will be fined.

"It's a shame. I don't understand. I guess people have been saying it's been done for years and years, and all of a sudden they're knocking on everyone's doors saying you've got to cut the grass you're going to be citied. I asked them when, and he said now - so I jumped outside right away and got it cut," Potter continues.

Angie claims it took her 2 and half hours to cut the grass that was about 16 inches high, and filled with junk that eventually busted her push mower.

Another neighbor, Chris Ahearn, explains, "The time, the gas. We pay our taxes, and they didn't take money from us or say, hey, we're going to lower your taxes if you cut it."

Ahearn also lives on the corner near a county road. Just like so man others, he found a copy of a city ordinance stuffed in his door.  It doesn't specifically say cut the grass, just keep the space between the curb and sidewalk free of weeds and debris. Confused, he called Warren Mayor Jim Fouts himself.

"He said, it's not the city that cuts this, it's the county. Then I asked him what's the reason I got this letter, and he said they're not going to cut my property anymore," says Ahearn.

Fox 2 also spoke to Fouts, who blames Macomb County exec Mark Hackel for this cost cutting move. He says he just learned the county would only cut the grass twice a summer.

Not happy, Fouts has now directed  his property maintenance department to cut the grass the county won't. Then, he says he plans to bill Macomb County for Warren's work.

"I just think something needs to be done. But it shouldn't be left to the homeowners that have to do it," Ahearn argues.

The residents don't care who does it - they just don't believe they are responsible for the work, even though Angie is now just responsible for her broken mower.

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