'Native plants' thriving - unfortunately
With regular monsoon storms providing the fuel for their growth, weeds are making their presence felt all over Price City.
They grow in the gutters, in and around the smallest cracks and crevices in concrete and coat roadsides with overgrowth that can make for an unappealing look.
Price City is pushing a reminder for residents in the community to do their best in helping quell the problems with weeds in the city. Gary Sonntag, Price City Public Works director, said the recent rainfall has helped weeds grow extremely fast in many areas around the city.
"It's becoming a problem again," Sonntag said. "Weeds are an eyesore and they can cause a lot of problems for the city and residents."
Sonntag noted that weeds growing in gutters can pose a problem with letting water flow in the correct manner down to storm drains. With the flooding problems in north Price since the beginning of August, Sonntag said the city is working to clean up areas they are responsible for as quickly as possible.
"Weeds can deflect the drainage water which can cause backups and more flooding," Sonntag explained.
The city is responsible for many areas but, they are not responsible for clearing weeds from the properties including homes, apartment complexes and more. The city is not responsible for clearing out weeds in areas that are a property owner's responsibility, including the front of a property and on the property itself, Sonntag explained.
City workers with the Streets Department continue to work on trying to cut down the problems with weeds, especially along ditches, street corners and in areas around street signs. The city wants to make sure that street signs are clearly visible to motorists as well as pedestrians walking along streets in the within the city.
According to chapter 17.13.4 within the Price City land use and development management code, "all premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of 12 inches in height". The code also goes on to say that weeds are "defined as grasses, annual plants and vegetation other than trees or shrubs...(but) shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens".
While there may be a problem with a property owner not clearing away weeds on their property or areas along the property that they are responsible for, the city does not look to give out tickets immediately. Price City Community Director Nick Tatton has said previously that the city does not immediately give out tickets in situations like this. Typically, the city will post a notice at a residence or business if there is deemed to be a problem requiring that the problem be resolved. After a certain period of time, if nothing was done to alleviate the weeds problem, then a citation would be considered, Tatton said.
The problems with weeds are not just limited to the city, businesses and homeowners, other entities including Utah Department of Transportation and Union Pacific are responsible for clearing away weeds and debris that fall in line with their rights of way. Sonntag said he has been in contact with both entities on clearing away the weed growth in areas they are responsible for.
"Weeds are an eyesore to look at but, the city cannot just go in and clean up those areas," said Sonntag.
Taking care of a property can be a time consuming task as keeping areas cleared from weeds can help improve the look of the city, especially to the eyes of people not from the area, Sonntag said.
Tips for clearing out weeds include using weed repellant spray on affected areas more than once during the late spring and summer seasons and watching areas along a property where any cracks or crevices are located where weeds may sprout from.
"The community should step forward and take charge with this situation instead of being forced to do so," Sonntag said.
If residents have questions about areas they may or may not be responsible for cleaning, they can contact Price City Public Works at 637-5010.