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At issue: Groves’ disheveled ditches

GROVES — Groves councilmembers are scheduled to discuss whether very high grass in a ditch is an obstruction to drainage and if so, whether to enforce the issue.

The discussion and review of interpretation of Section 22-2 “obstruction of drainage” and Section 12-15 “littering prohibited — generally” of the city code of ordinances will be during the 5:30 p.m. Monday meeting Monday at City Hall, 3947 Lincoln Ave., Groves.

City manager D. Sosa said the ordinance states “it shall be unlawful for any person to place dirt, trash, broken concrete, bricks, rubbish, or any other obstruction in any drainage ditch within the city…”

Sosa said he’s not referring to, say, 2 inches of grass. This is in reference to grass that is not cut at all and is higher than the ditch line.

“We feel like instead of passing another ordinance and trying to reinvent the wheel we can interpret if letting the grass grow high in the ditch is an obstacle to drainage,” Sosa said.

If the council agrees that high grass impedes drainage, the next step would be enforcement of the ordinance. A letter would be sent to the person asking them to cut the grass in the ditch. If the grass does not get cut, the city has the authority to have the grass cut and charge the person for the cost of the cutting.

“We would like people to take care of their ditch but this is not a one-size-fits-all issue,” he said. “There may be a situation where the ditch is too deep or the citizen is not able to cut it but in most cases people know how important it is to keep the ditch cut.”

Sosa said this is not a huge issue but because of the rains lately and the drainage issues in the past this has gained in importance.

In other agenda news, the police department will present a budget report.