Budget woes have Toledo mayor cutting grass

By Rob Wiercinski - bio | email

Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - Due to a budget deficit of $21 million, the City of Toledo has been cutting back many things. The latest is cutting the grass. Mayor Carty Finkbeiner says he and other city employees will be trying to pick up the slack.

As the City of Toledo has little green in its coffers, the mayor admits the green grass is a little higher than usual on many city properties.

"I apologize for the tall grass in the parks and some of our boulevards," he said. Budget cuts have trimmed the city's mowing crews in half.

"We have 144 parks to maintain, 5 cemeteries, over 1,500 acres of boulevards and triangles on top of that," said Toledo Public Service Director Bill Franklin.

To help stay on top of the grass cutting at River Road Park, the mayor says he'll hop on a mower on Saturday, weather permitting. Finkbeiner said, "This park will have the mayor cutting the grass. It probably won't look quite as good as it normally does."

He's also recruiting city workers for the cause. "Our exempt and executive-exempt employees and any others that wish to volunteer. And I think there'll be others. You'll see boulevards and parks being cut."

The mayor says he's moving ahead on a contract with Lott Industries to mow the grass at city cemeteries, even though AFSCME Local 7 is planning to file a grievance claiming union workers should be doing that work.

Mayor's call to residents

Another part of the mayor's plan is a call to all Toledoans to help out. "Adopting a park, it would be a wonderful gesture from anybody; a park, boulevard or triangle," said Denny Garvin, forestry commissioner with Toledo Parks.

For those Toledoans who would like to volunteer some time for the city and help cut the grass along some public green space, call the city's Adopt-a-Park hotline at 419-245-3357.

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