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The Town of Cheektowaga is ready to send out the lawnmowers, followed by a bill or tax lien, to property owners with overgrown grass.

During a work session Tuesday night, the Town Board awarded a $182,200 contract to Smaz Enterprise, of Depew, for grass-cutting services.

Last year, lawmakers amended an ordinance that enables the town to initiate action, beginning with a written notice, when grass height reaches 6 inches – down from the 10-inch limit established in 2001. If the grass isn’t cut within five days, the town may hire a contractor to do the job and assess the cost to the property.

The law is geared primarily toward absentee landlords.

Violations of the ordinance carry fines ranging from $75 to $250. Then there’s the cost of having the grass cut – under orders of the supervising building and plumbing inspector or his designee, plus $200 for administrative costs if the bill isn’t paid and a lien is placed on the property.

Officials noted that the contractor is required to take before and after photographs of each property when submitting bills to the town. If a tax lien is placed on a property, Erie County reimburses the town for the expense, according to Town Clerk Alice Magierski.