Trustees add surcharge to mowing fees

Don Campbell / HP staff The Coloma Charter Township Hall is pictured April 7, 2018.

COLOMA — Property owners in Coloma Township who neglect their grass, forcing the township to mow it, will soon be charged an extra $150 each time. 

Coloma Township trustees on Wednesday agreed to add a surcharge to those properties, in addition to the regular fee for mowing. 

Rory Bell, township maintenance supervisor, said the township warns property owners before it mows their grass.

"At the beginning of each season we send out a letter to properties that we had to routinely mow the year before, that if they do not comply we will contract a company and send them out to mow," he said. "We charge whatever he charges us. It doesn't account for the work we do, the county does, etc. We sent this surcharge to the attorney and they said this is reasonable."

Bell said properties that the township hasn't had to mow before that need mowing are given a warning before the township does it. 

The township's ordinance for maximum grass height is 6 inches. 

Bell said by the time a letter is sent out, and owners are given 10 days to mow or respond, the grass can be up to 12 inches. 

"And we'll keep mowing unless the owner tells us to stop. Sometimes we do five or six mowings in a season," he said. 

Bell said a lot of the repeat properties are owned by people who live out of town, and that just let them sit there.

The surchage and regular mowing fees are added to the owner's property taxes. 

In other business, trustees approved a budget amendment so the police department can buy new cameras and microphones for patrol cars. 

Interim Police Chief Wes Smigielski said all of the microphones have started to fail and the cameras are starting to glitch. The company that the department got them from doesn't make parts for them anymore because they are so old. 

He said he got a deal on upgrading all the systems for $14,200 total. All the new cameras are high definition and add more views. The new microphones pick up several hundred feet further.  

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