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Vacant lots being neglected, tall grass overwhelms

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - There's no splendor in this grass. Vegetation is growing up to seven-feet high in some areas in St. Louis. One alderman says it’s the city's fault residents are in the weeds.

"Vacant lots are privately owned. We don't want the lots, but we are responsible for cutting them," said Greg Hayes, St. Louis Parks Recreation and Forestry Department.

The City of St. Louis is taking responsibility for the overgrown lots. Sam Moore, alderman of the 4th Ward in north St. Louis City, says there are 1,700 vacant lots in his ward, many of them covered in weeds just as tall as him.

“This is north-side corn. It's is over seven-feet tall. This is a tragedy and unacceptable living, and this prevails throughout my community," Moore said.

St. Louis says with other wards in the city, the department may cut the grass only three or four times a year.

"We have a ward rotation basis, where we cut the vacant lots on a rotation basis, and we are there every three to four weeks or however long it takes to get each ward," Hayes said.

Alderman Moore says because he has more vacant lots in his ward than in the entire city, his ward should not be subject to rotation.

"It is ridiculous that we have 1,700 vacant lots in this community and most of them look like this. We are waiting too long for rotation," Moore said.

Alderman Moore says it's an eyesore for the city and he wants something done immediately. Residents also want answers and say they are tired of walking through the mess.

"They need to be cut here and in other areas,” said resident Michael Furlow.

Alderman Moore believes that because the lots his ward is in north St. Louis, the lots are being ignored.

"If you find me a sidewalk or empty building that looks like this in south St. Louis, I will resign my position as alderman," Moore said.

Alderman Moore says he'll continue to raise the issues about the tall weeds until all vacant lots in his ward are maintained on a regular basis and timely schedule.

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