School's maintenance men caught mowing on Ozone Action Day

EUCLID, Ohio - High school football practice may not begin for another month, but in Euclid, the school's maintenance division is making sure that the practice field is in tip-top shape.

The grounds manager, Tony, who told us his first name, but not his last, gave the school's gas-powered mowers a full workout on what was an Ozone Action Day -- a day when public health officials want everybody to avoid the use of lawn mowers.

Increased emissions of pollutants can be especially dangerous for senior citizens and children.

After initially seeing the Action News camera, Tony (pictured, above) said, "Cut that out. I don't want to be on."

Once Tom Meyer, The Investigator, explained to him that it was an Ozone Action Day, Tony changed his tone.

"I didn't know. I apologize. I'll have them stop," he said.

Tony kept his word. The mowing stopped immediately.

In the city of Cleveland, heavy-duty equipment was cutting steep embankments along the Shoreway during an Ozone Action Day, but as employee Dave King pointed out, it's OK. King said that when the advisory is issued, the city switches to diesel-fueled tractors which burn cleaner fuel.

The city of Cleveland doesn't deserve too much credit, however. Action News found three gas-powered mowers in operation at the city water plant.

The city hires a private contractor to do the work, and according to the guys cutting the grass, the job must be done regardless of the ozone alert.

"They want the job done now," the private contractor, Art, said. "Obviously, it's more important to have the grass cut. What can I say?"