City council told weed problem keeps growing in Riverton

(Riverton, Wyo.) – Riverton’s weed problem this summer hasn’t been helped with unusually wet weather to go along with warm temperatures. The combination produced perfect growing weather for the weeds, and they have taken full advantage, growing like, well… weeds!

“With the weather we’ve had it’s been hard to keep up with the growth,” Community Development Director Sandy Luers told the city council Tuesday night. Luers said city crews work to keep the weeds down on city property in 50 different locations around town but she said the city depends on property owners to do their share as well.

“We try to work with citizens on cutting the weeds,” she said, “When violations are observed, they have 10 days to comply and if they remain in non-compliance, we have city crews who will do the cleanup, then the owner is charged for the labor and equipment used. If the clean-up is still not paid, the city puts a lien on the property.” Luers said that is a last resort and that the code enforcement officer and community development department do all they can to contact owners of the properties. “We try to make contact through personal visit, telephone, door hangers, emails, letters and such.”

In the April through August time period, Luers said the city has made 545 code violation contacts to residences and properties around town. “That’s 20 percent more cases in that five month period than we had in all of 2013.”

But all is not bad news. Luers said the city has noticed “a lot of properties where owners are proud of keeping their areas very, very nice and they continue working toward this daily. We appreciate it.”

Mayor Ron Warpness said it is the responsibility of the individual residents to take care of their own properties or face a code violation.