Take care of city’s neighborhoods

Published 9:47 am Thursday, September 10, 2015

How sad I’ve been this summer watching the neighborhoods I drive down in such disrepair with weeds growing out of the sidewalks and off the curbs. I don’t know if it’s me not noticing this problem in the past or if it’s just this year that people have just decided not to worry about the problem anymore. When I drive down the streets this year, I notice that the weeds coming out of the cracks in the sidewalks have grown tremendously this year — for example, a house on the corner of Ramsey and Garfield.

I had notified my councilman of this whole block this summer because of the inability or unwillingness of the people living on this street to take care of this problem. I’ve actually noticed this same problem in years past on this same street.

I’ve been told by the city manager that the weeds must be 9 inches tall before the city will begin its process of sending out letters for the homeowners to take care of this problem or having the problem taken care of by the city and then bills sent out for the work.

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Believe me, the weeds on this street were over 9 inches tall. This particular house on Garfield looks like there’s a bush growing out of the sidewalk and nothing has been done by the city to take care of this problem. I’m not sure anyone even lives in this house anymore, but the city has not done their job.

Driving by Hawthorne Elementary School the last month, I have discovered that whoever cut their grass decided that weed-eating the grass around the signs along the boulevard wasn’t their job. They have allowed this grass to grow to a ridiculous length. Even my notifying the supervisor did no good as the grass was still extremely long last week. I don’t know what the rest of the schools look like, but if this is an indication, someone needs to get a long vacation for not doing their job.

On some streets you see the weeds going right over the curbs and you can’t even see the cement of the curbs any longer.

If I were someone debating whether to move into this community, I would take a long hard look at the way the residents and city care for how the streets look. I already know by the looks of some streets and the way they’re literally falling apart that they aren’t on the top of the city officials’ list to take care of, so obviously the weeds growing all over the place aren’t either.

The next time you drive around town, take a look at the weeds that may be growing out of the cracks in the sidewalks or the weeds that may be growing over the curbs, and ask yourself whether this is a neighborhood you would want to claim as your own — because I sure wouldn’t. I would hope my neighbors would care enough to make the area look somewhat groomed and nice to look at.

These sidewalks are the same sidewalks you have to take care of during the wintertime, and some of these same neighbors not taking responsibility for the weeds could be the same people who don’t shovel their sidewalk in the winter.

Let’s get out there and take care of our neighborhoods. It’ll make everyone feel better about where they live. I love Albert Lea, and I hate to see it starting to look so rundown.

Please help with this problem and remember next summer, and also this winter when we have snow, that these same sidewalks need to be cleared so people can use them to walk safely on.


Kathy Diaz

Albert Lea