Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, is praising several local lawn service companies who voluntarily mowed grass at the worst abandoned properties in her district. But the outspoken lawmaker wants the city to do a better job addressing blight.
The “Cut it Out” program was launched by Scott’s office last month to address blight in west and southwest Louisville neighborhoods due to the rise of vacant properties. According to city records, one-third of the 155 worst properties with overgrown grass have been mowed by local businesses and their crews for free.
Scott says residents are fed up with the eyesores, but that community leaders and business owners have stepped up to tackle the problem.
“We were able to do because we had someone in the community who lives in District 1 who said, ‘you know what I’ve got some connections, I see you’re out here trying to do the work so let’s make this happen.’ And then every single week we started getting another lawn care company that said they wanted to get involved with this. We had a company all the way out in Prospect that said, 'I want to do something and this is what I can do,'” she says.
According to Scott's office, some of the vacant properties have grass as high as six feet and have not been cut by the city for over decade.
Department of Codes & Regulations Director Jim Mims could not be reached for comment.
For the past several month, the council has taken a more active role in address blight issues. Council President Jim King, D-10, created a vacant properties committee this year and lawmakers have toughened legislation to crack down on illegal dumping and address scrap metal thefts.
Scott says neighborhood leaders are fed up with the eyesores and Metro Government needs to step up, but that residents will help themselves in the meantime.
“What we’re doing is the work of the city administration, that this is work that they do and need to continue to do and need to step up in doing,” says Scott. “At the same time, I’m quite clear that my neighborhoods just can’t sit and wait. That my neighborhoods need me to take some leadership to say while we’re waiting for you to step up we’re going to get it done and we’re going to make it happen.”
The last official “Cut it Out” operation will be Saturday, but lawn care companies involved have pledged to continue as their schedule permits.