Couple aggravated by tall grass takes action

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 20, 2010

NATCHEZ — Bryant and Jean Reed saw a problem and decided to fix it.

The retired couple got tired of looking at the overgrown grass in front of the Natchez welcome sign on U.S. 61 South, so Monday the Reeds took their lawn mower and grass trimmer and got to work.

“We live in Woodhaven (Subdivision) so going into town, going to church, going anywhere, we had to see this,” Jean Reed said motioning to the nearly knee-high grass. “(Sunday), going to church, we were talking about it and Bryant said he was going to come out here and cut it. I told him I’d come with him and push the lawn mower because I can’t Weed Eat.”

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The Reeds have lived in Woodhaven since 1987 and Bryant Reed said the grassy area is often forgotten.

“The sign was obscured and you couldn’t see the bottom portion at all,” he said. “We could have come out here Friday or last Monday or before that and done this.

“The problem didn’t happen over night.”

But, he said, being the entrance to the city, the sign and lot need to be well maintained.

“This is the first impression when you come into town and you need that first impression to be neat and clean,” he said.

Jean Reed said she and her husband didn’t want to wait for someone else to come and tidy up the area, because she knew they could do it in a more timely manner.

“I have called my alderman in the past about pot holes in the neighborhood and while they are fixed now, it took a while,” she said. “I can’t fill a pothole, but I can push a lawnmower.”

Ward 3 Alderman Bob Pollard, who represents the Woodhaven area, said the lot belongs to Mississippi Department of Transportation and therefore the city is not responsible, or able, to provide maintenance.

“It is not city-owned property, so we can’t carry our equipment on to that property. We can’t carry equipment on private or state-owned property.”

Pollard said all the city can do is stay in contact with MDOT about maintenance.

Pollard, who also lives in the Woodhaven Subdivision said he had noticed the lot was overgrown and applauded the Reeds efforts to clean it up.

“If they want to help clean up their neighborhood, that is fine, good,” he said. “I’d do the same thing.”

Bryant Reed said he wasn’t sure if he’d be back out there cutting the grass again or not.

“We’ll just wait and see what happens,” he said. “We might have to come back, but we don’t know now.”