Valley View, OH (WOIO) - The Village of Valley View is changing its grass cutting program for senior citizens.
The village used to cut eligible residents’ grass for free but now will charge $100 a year.
Council approved the change during its April 2 meeting.
“I’m disappointed that they had to take some money out of the seniors’ pockets,” said resident John Butauski. “They should be able to continue to provide it at no cost to them."
Butauski said there's other ways for the village to save money if that's what they're worried about.
“Especially when they're about ready to repave this street to a tune of about $600,000 which doesn't really seem to be in that bad of shape,” Butauski said.
A few streets over, Mr. Henry was picking up leaves in his year. He supports council’s decision.
“I think that’s a very fair price,” Henry said. “I have a son still living here, so I don’t qualify for it. I think it’s fair. They’ve got to draw the line somewhere.”
Mayor Jerry Piasecki doesn’t like what council did. “I didn’t think it was a good idea to shake down the seniors for 100 bucks,” Piasecki said during a phone interview.
The mayor said about 110 people were signed up for the free service last season. He doesn’t know how many will sign up this year now that the village is charging.
Those who are at least 65-years-old are eligible for the program as long as they don’t have someone living with them who’s at least 16-years-old who’s able to cut the grass.
Piasecki is concerned the $100 will have repercussions.
“When you’re basically getting a service for free and sometimes it’s not quite what you expect-- like maybe the trimming isn’t what you thought-- now that you’re paying for it, you’re going to maybe want a little bit higher level of service.”
Piasecki said that may tack on extra time for workers per yard which effects the budget.
No council member could be reached for comment Saturday. The mayor said some members raised concerns about overtime, equipment needs and funding of other projects.
“One of the comments I heard is that they wanted to cut costs and maybe now that they're charging money some of them will drop out,” Piasecki said. “You're having the program for a reason to help people- not give them a hard time so they drop out.”
Butauski hopes council doesn't have more plans that will hit taxpayers’ pockets.
“People have been here for a long time. It’s a very nice area,” Butauski said.