Overgrown lots, breeding grounds for snakes and rats

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[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16x9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1371683874&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&show_title=1&va_id=4103061&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1371683874 type=script]BIRMINGHAM, Ala, (WIAT) — Some residents in the North Pratt neighborhood are demanding more help from the city on keeping the grass cut on abandoned lots.

They say the overgrown lots have become a breeding ground for snakes and rats. Phyllis Anderson lives here, and she says people from outside of the neighborhood routinely dump anything and everything in a pile next to overgrown lots on Jasper Road. She blames the city for not taking care of the property.

“I would love for them to just come out and cut the grass on a consistent basis,” Phyllis says, “That’s all we ask.”

According to the Department of Public Works, city workers have cut the grass on 97 vacant lots in the past week.  They average 100 lots per week.

That doesn’t change what Phyllis sees when she walks around her neighborhood. She brought her concerns before the Birmingham City Council Tuesday, but she didn’t like what she saw.

“I was blown away by the arguing, the bickering,” Phyllis says, “I felt like I was caught in the middle.”

Mayor William Bell has asked the council to approve an additional $2.5 million dollars to go to the city’s public works department to help address this problem. The Birmingham City Council will ultimately have to approve the budget change. The additional money would come from cuts to city employees’ overtime.

(WIAT-CBS42 Kaitlin McCulley)

(WIAT-CBS42 Kaitlin McCulley)

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