Lavonia Looking at Lawn Debris Ordinance

The City of Lavonia is amending its nuisance ordinance to change what kind of debris the city will and will not pick up.

At its regular meeting earlier this month, the Lavonia City Council heard the first reading of the ordinance, which will become law after the second reading.

Lavonia City Manager Gary Fesperman said debris left at the curb is clogging up the city’s sewer system.

“The storm water that’s collected off the roads and the streets collects in storm sewers, which become clogged with trash, debris, and grass clippings if it’s blown out into the street,” Fesperman said. “When you have a heavy rain event, all of this washes down and clogs up the storm system. Whenever that happens and if you have a huge rain event, you have the potential for flooding streets and adjacent properties.”

In 2010, the city of Lavonia put a grass clipping policy into effect.

However, Fesperman said because it was only a policy, it could not be strictly enforced.

He said the change to an actual ordinance was needed because of an increase in the number of landscaping companies doing business in town.

“They are notorious for blowing out all of the cuttings, grass, leaves and debris out into the streets. Well, that puts the burden on the city crews, and because we no longer have the prison workers like we once did, then we need to look at some way to control that because it can cause issues during a heavy rain event,” Fesperman concluded.

According to Fesperman, violators of the new ordinance could be fined up to $500 per offense.

A second reading will take place at the Lavonia City Council meeting in April.