Midland Homeowners Upset About City Land Not Being Properly Mowed
By Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Homeowners in a northeast Midland neighborhood are up in arms over a stretch of land right next to them.

They say it's city property, but the city's not keeping it up.

The conditions have gotten so bad, they're being forced to take matters into their own hands.

Residents on Hogan Court say at it's worst, the grass and weeds get waist high.

NewsWest 9 received a partial stack of e-mails that one resident sent to complain and even though the area was recently mowed, it wasn't done by the city.

"Everybody pounds this responsibility off on somebody else, from Parks and Recreation to Code Enforcement to, actually, the city," Midland Resident, Sheila Nicholson, said.

Sheila Nicholson moved to Midland from Amarillo.

Of all the places she's lived, she's never been through this kind of ordeal before.

With complaints to city dating back to the middle of May, she feels she's being ignored.

"I pay my taxes. Why are you ignoring me?  Numerous people have made the calls throughout the years.  The people who lived here before fought this.  It's funny when you're new to a neighborhood and people say good luck.  What do you mean, good luck?" Nicholson said.

Code Enforcement officials admit the one block stretch of land is part of the city park system and the city has a contract with a private contractor to have it mowed.

"I've seen the city once, mow that, and I was very livid when they stopped right there and didn't come over on this side," Nicholson said.

They also said they have a procedure in place for complaints.  First they have to validate the complaint, and then send a notice to the lot owner, who has 10 days to comply.

"This road is used for city and trash trucks. We've got other people using it as a throughway all the time, and nobody seems to know who's supposed to cut this grass," Nicholson said.

About 2 weeks ago, a Good Samaritan took it upon himself to lend a hand.

"I did it because Sheila is a friend and it's a fire hazard and a snake hazard.  She doesn't have the means to take care of it and apparently the people who are responsible for taking care of it aren't going to do it," Midland Resident, John Fisher, said.

It took Fisher about 30 minutes with his ford tractor and six foot shredder to do the job not once, but twice.  Something Nicholson says, she could never be able to do.

"This is hard ground with stalks of weed that would chew up my mower.  I don't have the equipment to mow it," Nicholson said.

The grass is cut, for now, but Nicholson and Fisher want whoever's job it is, to step up and get it done.

"Its not mine.  Who's is it?  Somebody needs to come mow it.  I'm tired of getting the run around," Nicholson said.

"If nobody else is going to do it, I'll take care of it.  I don't mind doing it.  But, it is not my responsibility.  I do it because I care," Fisher said.

Steve Thorp, with Code Enforcement tells NewsWest 9, weeds and grass can be up to eighteen inches high and still be in compliance.

Nicholson says she finally got an email reply from the City of Midland on Monday morning.