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Neighbors fed up with tall grass

LAWTON, Okla._Neighbors in Lawton are joining forces in an attempt to get a lawn at a vacant home mowed for the first time in almost two months.

The yard at 2212 NW 23rd St. has grass in the front yard about three to four feet high. Grass in the backyard is reaching heights near six feet, and the neighbors say they have had enough.

Neighbors say this has been a reoccurring problem since the house was repossessed nine years ago. The yard was last cut in early June, and it's causing the neighbors to deal with more snakes, rats and ticks than usual.

"The house inside is trashed so bad that I don't even think the fleas want to live there anymore," said Jim Clower, a neighbor who has lived next to the home since 1998.

Clower says the outside has become such a mess that he is concerned about what grounds crews will do when they finally arrive.

"I was told this morning that whenever he comes out here, because it's so high, he will only weed eat it, which don't clean it up,” Clower said.

The home is in the ward of Lawton City Councilman Bob Morford, who's currently out of town.  Morford says he understands Clower's frustrations, but says the city does have a specific process that must be followed. 

Home owners are given a notice and 10 to 15 days to mow the yard before a fine is given and a work order is created. From there, crews are sent out to mow the yards. Because no one is living in the house, whoever owns it will be receiving the bill.

Clower says he agrees that the city should be able to charge for the work, but as of now he doesn't see anyone being held accountable.

"Get ahold of the people who own it. Let them take care of it, but hold somebody responsible. That's what is not happening," Clower said.

Morford says there have been a lot of houses in Lawton with work orders because of the rain. He says he is anticipating this one to clear work orders and be mowed later this week.

Morford explained that the Lawton City Council and Neighborhood Services work together on these complaints. They are handled in the order that they are received.

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