EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The El Paso City Council delved into the topic of overgrown weeds Tuesday, Oct. 25 during its meeting.

City representatives discussed the possibility of not writing up citations for people over 65 or those who have a disability.

In the past, homeowners in this category have expressed that it is harder for them to remove the weeds themselves or find the necessary means to hire a professional. City Council decided that city staff will have to return at the next meeting with a plan on how to execute this item to protect these specific homeowners.

“Look at the city. Some of them (weeds) are looking as tall as trees, that we have to attend to. So if they are on city medians or city sidewalks, they’re certainly on city properties. And properties that belong (to those groups), there are 51,000 registered with the Central Appraisal District with those exemptions,” said Rep. Henry Rivera, District 7

Chief transit and field officer Ellen Smyth says the city is willing to help homeowners but they need to reach out first.

“If you are having trouble cleaning your yard, if you do receive a notice or a code violation from a code officer, please call the number on the notice and say, ‘I need more time or I need help or whatever the situation is,’ because we want to help you.”

The City also plans to outscource to companies to help with weed overgrowth and hire landscaping professionals to deal with the problem.

In previous years, the city would bid with those particular companies to help with the weed cleanup effort. However this year, due to lack of staff with those companies, the City did not receive any bids.

“They’re having the exact same problem the city is having. It’s really difficult to find general service labor type personnel. It’s difficult for the city. It’s difficult for the companies,” Smyth said.

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