Saying 'No' to No Mow May: City of Hartford reminds people to cut their lawns

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HARTFORD, Wis. (CBS 58) -- With just 11 days left in "No Mow May", an effort by people to let their grass grow provides a good environment for bees to pollinate. However, those living in Hartford may want to fire up their lawn mowers early.

A Facebook post on the city administration's page Thursday reminds folks living in the city of Hartford their lawns must be below six inches or city staff may come and cut it for them, resulting in what City Administrator Steve Volkert says would be about a $100 fee.

"We've always had an ordinance," Volkert said. "We enforce it every year around this time now that the grass is growing. This is nothing new."

While Volkert says it's nothing new, he did admit that more lawns seem to be left uncut this year, something he says his office has received complaints about.

"We end up being the complaint department," Volkert says. "That's one of the things about living in a city or village, is there's ordinance by which you have to live by and some people just get laxed in that for whatever reason."

Patrick Dillman is one of the people living in the city who is participating in "No Mow May" in an effort to help the bees.

"It's really just to help the pollinators, give them a chance to get out of hibernation for the year," Dillman said. "The dandelions are one of the first things that come back, and that's why we're leaving them."

Dillman says he's not too concerned about the post from the city, reminding folks to cut their lawns, or the fee that could come with it.

"Realistically I don't think they have the manpower to do it right now. They're already behind," Dillman said. "Obviously, as soon as June hits, we'll start mowing again."

Volkert says the city is prepared to start warning residents. Once a warning is received, people have 48 hours to cut it themselves before city workers will do it for them. He says he's hopeful it doesn't come to that.

"They've got so much to do and so little time to do it and for them to have to sit there and babysit houses is really a distraction from what they should be doing," Volkert said. "That's why we ask everyone to just take care of their own property and then the neighbors stop complaining."

As for Dillman, he hopes the city will embrace the "No Mow May" concept like other cities have and encourage folks to participate.

"There's a lot of properties here that we could take advantage," Dillman said. "We're a pretty big property here so it's, for us it makes sense because we're real close to agriculture land and everything. The bees are everywhere. We have bumbles all over the place. I would encourage them to change their stance."

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