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Grass growing into tall problem on state roads
McMinnville officials are considering what to do about tall grass along state right of ways the state is not mowing. Pictured is grass along the bypass near its intersection with Red Road.

High grass along state routes is growing into a problem.
McMinnville Planning and Zoning director Nolan Ming has asked the city to address what the state is not doing in terms of mowing.
“Mr. Ming brought it to my attention,” said Mayor Jimmy Haley to members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. “I’ve had several other people question me about it. Once again, the state is not providing some of the services to rural communities and one of those things is mowing. I’ve noticed this year, as some of you may have, mowing has not been what it has been in the past. I’ve had several complaints about it. I’ve had visitors comment on it, as well, that some of our highways and byways are not very inviting in the city.”
City code limits the height of residential grass to 12 inches. Haley says some of the grass along state right of ways is seven times that amount.
“The state is only mowing, I think, twice this year and they have contracted it out. From what I understand, it will be the middle to the end of August before they mow it again. Some of the grass and some of the weeds on the side of the road are seven feet tall or more. Downtown is beautiful but the thousands of tourists who are coming in are seeing the overgrown grass along the state routes. We need to do something about that.
McMinnville is already attempting to subsidize the lack of state mowing by using city employees. However, an additional person might be necessary.
“We might want to think next year about hiring somebody as a part-time mower within the city to keep these sides of the roadway cleaned and mowed,” said Haley. “We are already mowing in some places. I’ve had multiple complaints about that place in front of Lowe’s being overgrown. I think it was sprayed. That may be something we need to look at. I’ve had a couple of citizens come forward who want to put together a taskforce about beautifying some of our entrances into the city. We need to do something about the overgrown grass the state isn’t mowing.”
While residents in violation of city code regarding overgrown vegetation would receive a letter giving them a deadline on when to have their grass mowed in order to avoid being cited to court, there is little the city can do to encourage the state to mow its grass.