(WAFF) - Don't give up the fight to get severely overgrown yards cleaned up in your neighborhood.
It takes some patience, but homeowners and city leaders are getting it done.
The first thing you have to do is report it... and in many cases, following up and reporting it again.
Often, everyone assumes someone's already done that - or the city or county department in charge knows.
And we're not talking about yards that just grew over the last few weeks and could use a cut.
These are the yards that make you wince and cringe.
Doris Baker has seen enough of properties like one in her Decatur neighborhood: Grass is overgrown, weeds consume the yard, and branches seem to devour the side of the house.
She says it's not just unsightly. It's unsafe. She wants to see it cleaned up, and across the city, Decatur council members want to see the same thing.
They just assessed fines to eight properties in the city at their Monday council meeting.
It's common this time of year, not just in Decatur, but throughout the Tennessee Valley.
We found a weed-infested yard on Giles Drive in Huntsville, and we've heard from many of you about wanting other yards cleaned up.
Why can't the city or county just cut it?
Decatur's Community Development Director tells us it takes time to research who owns the property, give them notice to cut the grass, and if they don't, to then go in and cut and assess the costs.
If you own a property that gets out of hand like this, realize it will cost you a lot more to have the city or county do it.
Here's what the City of Huntsville told us:
They charge a $150 administrative fee. The mower cost is $32 dollars an hour, plus $15 an hour for a trimmer, plus another $15 for a blower... and then there's the hourly cost of the person or crew doing the work.
But if you're like Doris Baker and you want someone else's yard cleaned up, do what she did and report it.
Who you report it to varies by city and county. For instance, in Huntsville and Decatur, contact Community Development.
And in Florence, call the Building Department.
If you're not sure, call your city or county main office.
You can also visit our See Click Fix section and report your concerns on our interactive map there.
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