FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Monday is the start of the weed program. The Neighborhood Code Compliance is in charge of ensuring weeds and grass in lawns are no longer than nine inches. The date that the program begins is chosen in March.

Catherine Toppel, the Department Director of Neighborhood Code Compliance says, “guessing when to start is by far the hardest. Once a property’s lawn exceeds nine inches, the city of Fort Wayne will issue a violation and tell you that you must cut it down. You get about a week to cut it.”

Inspectors take date-stamped electronic photos and post a placard on the cited property. A notice is mailed to the owner who has five days to fix the issue. After five days, the City’s mowing contractors will inspect to see if the property is in compliance and if not, they will mow and also take date-stamped before- and after-photos. The owner will then be charged for the mowing; if the invoice is not paid within 30 days, a lien will be placed on the property.

Owners will receive an invoice for the contracted amount and administration fees. Fees will vary on the amount of time that was spent and the size of the property.

The money goes into the unsafe building fund for the city of Fort Wayne.

Eight part time inspectors and one supervisor are hired to check in on the properties with complaints.

“With a rainy season like we’ve had it does tend to grow a lot faster than in previous years. There’s definitely a lot of work out there to keep them busy now,” Toppel explains.

For those with financial concerns, Toppel says that her department will cut the property. “They do have the ability to make payment arrangements with our office and if it’s not paid after 30 days there will be a lean placed on the property through a special assessment,” Toppel explains.

Toppel asks that the community be patient as the program begins today. “We will absolutely be going through every single complaint,” she says.

Reports and complaints open today. In order to submit a complaint call 311 or 260-427-8311 to report a possible violation.