Sebastian leaders hope to save green when cutting tall grass

SEBASTIAN – City leaders hope to save about $45 each time they send lawn crews out to cut down tall grass at foreclosure and abandoned properties.

The Sebastian City Council agreed to contract the services of nearly a dozen companies that provided bids that ranged from $25 to $200 to mow a quarter-acre lot and from $45 to $300 for a half-acre lot.


City Manager Al Minner addressed the wide variations in bids, telling the council that they have not yet worked out what exactly the city would be getting in terms of service for the cost.

The city has been looking for ways to trim its operating expenses due to the current economic conditions. Minner began investigating options to cut the city’s $25,000 to $30,000 annual budget for mowing overly tall grass on private property through the city’s code enforcement.

Some of the money is recovered through liens placed on the properties, according to Minner.

Before seeking competitive bids from lawn care companies, the city was paying on average $125 per mow. Now, the city expects to pay, on average, $80 – a cost savings of $45 each time.

“We’re going to do our best” to address the tall grass for the least amount of money, Minner told the council Wednesday evening.

Along with asking lawn companies to bid on mowing quarter- and half-acre lots, the city asked them to estimate what it would cost to cut back five feet of growth on undeveloped lots and clear debris.

The prices on the 5-foot cut back ranged from $17.75 to $95, while the debris clearing ranged from $17.75 to $60.

“It’s hard to imagine what you’ll get for $17,” Wolff said.

Sebastian resident Damien Gilliams suggested the city have the banks that are now holding the foreclosed homes in the area register the properties with the city so that the city could monitor the sites.

“That’s an excellent idea,” Mayor Richard Gillmor said in response, adding that there is legislation in place to have banks do that and that sometimes the banks need to be reminded.

Sebastian city council candidate and resident David DiVirgilio raised the issue of cleanup after mowing. He told the council that there was a property that had been mowed due to being too tall and the company that came out left the clipped grass lying on the ground.

Minner said that the city does require the companies to clean up after the mowing to make sure that the grass doesn’t lie there in clumps. However, it is an issue the city would have to manage, he said.

The city’s code enforcement officials respond to neighbors calls when neighbors think the grass has gotten too tall, Minner said. Officials also drive around the city, looking for problem spots.

“We don’t have the money” to take care of all the problem sites, Councilman Eugene Wolff said, though code enforcement gives the city some control.

Mayor Gillmor suggested that neighbors help one another by taking care of the abandoned properties’ lawns if they are able.

Wolff cautioned such suggestions, noting that residents could be considered trespassing and there could be a liability in the event someone were to get hurt while mowing another person’s property.

Here’s the list of bidders and their cost estimate to mow a quarter- and half-acre lot:





American Wave Landscaping




Buena Vista Lawn Service




Suncoast Lawn & Landscape




Sunshine Land Design




Conlon Landscaping & Maintenance




Absolute Lawn Service

Vero Beach



Greener Pastures Turf

Palm Bay



Lawn Beauticians




Micco Land & Tree Service




Austin’s Lawn & Tree Service




Robert Fuegel Lawn Care




Related Articles

Comments are closed.