"The growing season is upon us," said Trey Hardy, community redevelopment coordinator. "I want to remind the people that the weather is going to change quickly."
And the weather change often takes place faster than people adjust their weekly routines from winter mode to summer mode.
"We'd also like to give a friendly reminder that the zero tolerance that went into effect on May 5, 2004, is still in effect," he added. "Junk and trash, tall weeds and grass, derelict vehicles - that's the three targets of zero tolerance."
While the zero-tolerance policy is ongoing, tall grass and weeds aren't really an issue during the winter months and property owners are often surprised by how quickly grass and weeds grow after a spring rain.
Hardy said property owners should not only prepare themselves and equipment for yard work but should also be aware the Spring Cleanup program is only a couple of weeks away. To take full advantage of the program, preparations should begin now, Hardy said.
"Please take advantage of the Spring Cleanup," he said. "Now would be a good time to really take a look at your property or properties to get your game plan together. Take advantage of it now before you end up with junk and property violations."
Those who need assistance with junk and debris removal should make those arrangements now as well, Hardy advised.
The timing for the Spring Cleanup is no accident, according to Hardy: "The Spring Cleanup is running in conjunction with the growing season," he said.
Hardy said it is much easier to move bulky items and debris from yards before vines, grass and weeds grow up around them. "And then the debris that has been around since the last clean-up will not be in the way of yard maintenance on your property," he added.
Over the last calendar year, 665 property maintenance citations were processed, according to Hardy. Of those, 97 were written between January and April before the no-tolerance policy was implemented.
"To put that in perspective, the previous three years averaged 212 per year," he said.
City officials believe the no-tolerance policy has influenced property owners to clean things up. "People have cleaned up their properties," Hardy said.
Hardy said the Sikeston's residents seem to be supportive of the city's no-
tolerance policy. "The overwhelming majority of feedback has been positive," he said.