KC neighborhood fed up with overgrown grass on MoDOT-owned property

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Overgrown grass is causing headaches for neighbors living near 28th and Jarboe Street.

People living in the area claim they have been fighting for months to get the Missouri Department of Transportation to cut the grass on its own property.

“All I want is for them to do their part because we do our part,” said Pedro Garcia, who has lived in the area for 56 years.

The blighted property, with grass as high as 6 feet, is directly across the street from Garcia’s home and sits along Interstate 35.

“We already get raccoons and possums and groundhogs, rats and this just gives them another place to hide and live,” Garcia said.

Garcia said he called MoDOT at least three times this summer to report the problem, but he kept getting the same answer.

“Every time I called, it was the same information I would give them,” Garcia said. “They already had it on the computer, and they said we’ll be out there -- and nothing.”

Joseph Fernandez lives around the corner from Garcia. He said he also complained to MoDOT.

“They don’t listen to us,” Fernandez said. “It’s like we’re not important at all, like we’re nothing.”

Feeling ignored, the men reached out to FOX4 Problem Solvers.

A spokesperson for MoDOT told FOX4’s Zac Summers that one of their crews cut the grass on the property on Friday but couldn’t speak to what exact areas the crews mowed. He added that they have only received two complaints during the month of September.

Then as FOX4’s Zac Summers was talking to neighbors, a crew from MoDOT showed up with lawn mowers.

“I think it had to come to the point for us to call you to get things rolling,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez admitted to seeing crews in the past, but he said that they are never thorough.

“I’ve seen them twice. That’s it. But they do a half-ass job when they do it up here,” Fernandez said.

The MoDOT spokesperson said their policy is to address an issue within seven to 10 days and they try to do “full runs” in all parts of the metro three to four times during peak grass season.

Garcia and Fernandez said they felt like MoDOT ignored their repeated complaints, but they’re grateful the eyesore on their block has been fixed.

“It took so long for them to do something, you know,” Fernandez said. “I’m glad FOX4 came and helped take care of the problem.”

“It takes a lot off my shoulder,” Garcia added. “You guys get things done.”

The crew was forced to end work early Tuesday because they had “several equipment failures.” They plan to finish the job Wednesday morning.