Red Phone: Why clean only for company?

“Why does Gilroy only clean up for company? I have lived in Gilroy for 20+ years. I own a business in Gilroy, and it seems the only time any cleanup or weed cutting is done is when the Garlic Festival is happening. Maybe they should put aside money for diesel tractors so the vegetation can be cut more than once a year. Why is it only cleaned for visitors and not the residents whose taxes pay for these services and live here year-round, not just one weekend?”

 

Red Phone: Dear Company Is Coming, The last weekend in July is always a time to roll out the red carpet for our guests and show them the best Gilroy has to offer. With a crowd of 100,000 expected, it is important to put the best face forward. 

Many people come from out of town and spend money not just at the Garlic Festival. So it is in the city’s best interest to make sure things look good so our guests will feel comfortable, and, yes, so they’ll want to stay around and check out some of Gilroy’s fine dining establishments. Some will visit the unique shops in nearby downtown, and some will head over to the outlets.

While a lot of cleanup and preparation is done right before the festival, it is not the only time of the year when weeds are cleaned out. The Garlic Festival takes care of mowing all the grass in the areas used for parking near the park, said Gilroy Administrator Tom Haglund. 

The city has an annual weed abatement program under contract with Santa Clara County to remove fire hazards created by weeds growing on vacant lots within the city limits, Haglund said

People are required under state law to keep their property mowed to avoid a public fire hazard, he said. 

“The weed abatement program kicks off each January with notification to owners of vacant parcels or other parcels upon which weeds will need to be abated during the early spring and summer growth seasons,” Haglund said.

The city holds a public hearing in March to list all properties with weeds that need to be removed. And additional property owner notices are issued in April, Haglund said. The deadline for weeds to be removed is May 15. If they are not removed by that time, the county will step in and remove the weeds and bill the property owner for the cost, Haglund said.

If there is a particular parcel you are concerned with, you can contact the city fire marshal at 846-0439.

Hope that helps, good caller. But for now, let’s make our guests feel welcome this weekend.

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