LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)--A troubled Louisville neighborhood is seeing some changes. "This week, crews are cutting the grass at about 30 homes here in the Newburg neighborhood. The goal is to improve the property value and reduce crime.
"I would say it was near my shoulders," says Karen Alcorn, Newburg neighbor. You're not going to believe this, Alcorn is actually talking about the grass at what has been the eyesore next door to her home. And it gets worse. "We've seen rodents in the area with the grass growing higher," says Alcorn. "My daughter had let the dogs out and um there was a rat or a mouse in the backyard where something had drug it up."
Dr. Barbara Shanklin represents Newburg on Metro Council and says she has been getting dozens of complaints from her constituents. "People call all summer long about houses that have been vacant-most of these houses have been vacant for about a year or two," says Shanklin.
Dr. Shanklin says waste and shoulder high grass at some of these abandoned homes have led to other problems in spite of these no trespassing signs. "And one of the houses that we cut the back door was open somebody had kicked the door in and somebody actually had been living in there and it's an opportunity to hid out."
Crews are being paid anywhere from $50 to $200 dollars cut the grass, but in some cases that's still not enough. "One house I have somebody came to me and say we'll charge you 12-hundred for that yard and I mean it's that bad."
Right now the city if picking up tab for cutting the grass and collecting all of the garbage and debris but Shanklin hopes the cost will eventually be passed on to the owners. "Then they can't sell it unless they pay these bills."
Meanwhile, neighbors like Karen Alcorn just hope they've seen the last of the eyesore next door. "Hopefully now that there has been some exposure to this whoever owns the property will start to take care of it," says Alcorn.
It all looks better now, but what happens in few weeks or even a few months? Shanklin says the goal is to do it again by the end of the summer.