Grass agreement a year too late

Published 7:36 pm Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The issue around the overgrown medians and state rights of way around Vicksburg is not new. It is not something that sprouted overnight.

We are thankful for the efforts by South Ward Alderman Alex Monsour in working the details of an agreement with the state of Mississippi that would allow city crews and contractors to maintain the medians and state rights of way, but this is a solution, an agreement, that should have been handled long ago.

More than a year ago, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. called for an agreement after state crews were unable to meet the demands of keeping the areas well groomed. At that time, the areas managed by the state were overgrown and an embarrassment.

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Nothing has changed since those comments were made.

Well before the calendar turned to spring, warm weather and rain caused the grass in state-controlled areas to grow quickly. Thistles and weeds were being measured in feet, while cars abandoned on the side of the interstate were in danger of disappearing in the tall grass.

With the grass being so high, such an embarrassment, it is a wonder why it has taken until mid-June to reach an agreement. Again, the city knew last year the state could not meet the demands of keeping grass in the Vicksburg well maintained — an agreement should have been reached last year when Flaggs called attention to the problem.

According to city officials, the state is scheduled to make three-to-four cuts each year, as well as scheduled trash and debris cleanups along the state rights of way. To date, nothing has been done by the state.

We understand grass along the interstate and other state rights of way cannot be manicured to the degree of a golf course. We also understate the state budget cannot afford unlimited crews throughout the state keeping the grass cut during the growing season.

An agreement between the state and the city, allowing city crews to help maintain state rights of way in the city limits is a sensible solution. It is one that works for both parties.

Unfortunately, we are a year too late in coming to that agreement.