Property owners in Leavenworth owe the city more than $100,000 for charges associated with the mowing of lawns earlier this year as part of code enforcement, according to one official.
And city commissioners are preparing to vote on an ordinance that would levy special assessments against the properties in question as a way to collect the money.
The proposed ordinance for grass and weed nuisance assessments came before city commissioners last week for first consideration. And when they meet Tuesday, they will be asked to approve it, according to City Clerk Karen Logan.
The property owners being targeted for the tax assessments previously were billed and given 30 days to pay the charges associated with having their lots cleared by the city during this year’s mowing season.
According to the city’s website, about 30 percent of code violations are related to weeds and tall grass. Grass and weeds must be kept shorter than 12 inches.
People who are found to be in violation are given the opportunity cut the grass and weeds themselves. If they don’t comply, the city can have the vegetation cut and charge the cost to the property owner, according to the city’s code of ordinances.
The city also charges an administrative fee, which starts at $100 for the first mowing.
Logan said there still is time for people to pay the charges to avoid the levying of the assessments. Property owners who pay the amounts they owe by 5 p.m. Tuesday will have their names removed from the proposed ordinance.
Logan said this will prevent the special assessments for their properties from showing up on tax rolls. It also will prevent their names from being published with the ordinance.
Even once the ordinance has been published, people still will have a number of months to pay what they owe before the assessments appear on tax rolls.
A document presented to city commissioners last week listing the affected property owners and how much they owe is 11 pages. Logan said the charges to these property owners totaled about $132,000.
Some properties were mowed more than once and this is reflected on the list as the properties appear multiple times.
Logan said some people apparently have paid what they owed since last week’s meeting and an updated list will be presented for Tuesday’s meeting.