D'Iberville Wants High Grass Mowed Down

D'Iberville is telling some of its residents to break out the lawn mowers. In the past six weeks, city officials have sent 73 violation notices to people who have let high grass and weeds take over their properties.

Some D'Iberville residents say vacant, neglected lots are hurting their neighborhood.

"It decreases the value of the neighborhood. Just look around you. It's all grown up and funky and stuff," Dimitrios Tzuanos said.

City officials say most of the problems are on properties where houses once stood.

"A lot of these properties are abandoned," D'Iberville building official Hank Rogers said. "People have moved away from the area or they've taken up refuge in nearby areas, FEMA trailers things of that nature. Even though the slab is still there we have grass, weeds, things of that nature around the structure."

Rogers hopes property owners will step up and mow down the grass. However, because of the difficulty of contacting people, he expects most of the overgrowth to be dealt with another way.

"In most cases, we never can reach the owner because they've moved away from the area," Rogers said. "In most cases what we end up doing is having to put out a contract to have the property cleared. The expense of doing that is added to the Harrison County tax rolls and it becomes a lien against the property."

City officials say not only is the high grass unsightly, it's also dangerous.

"Because of the rain we've had recently, the growth, when it dries out that becomes fuel for a fire. Because in these wide open areas out here, if a fire broke out in one lot, it'd spread very quickly to others," Rodgers said.

Residents say the lots are becoming dumping sites and city officials say people rebuilding nearby deserve better.

D'Iberville officials say people who receive notices and do not comply will then get a citation and have to go to court. Officials say that citation is a misdemeanor that could carry a fine.