WARREN (WWJ) – Help us cut down on blight in our city. That’s the message in a letter sent by Warren Mayor Jim Fouts to the Michigan Department of Transportation.
Fouts said grass and weeds grow as high as 6 feet along the I-696 service drive in the city — and he wants the state to help get rid of it.
“Blight begets a situation that nobody wants to be around. People want neighborhoods that are blight- free. Obviously it’s unsightly; it doesn’t look good and it encourages all kinds of problems, whether it be rats, or crime — things of that nature,” Fouts said in an interview with WWJ Newsradio 950′s Zahra Huber.
Motorists are complaining that tall weeds block their view of other vehicles merging off the freeway, creating a dangerous situation.
“The state has money and they need to allocate the money in the proper place,” Fouts said. “The proper place is maintaining our expressways blight-free.”
MDOT’s Rob Morosi said, unfortunately, they don’t have the cash.
“We would hope that the mayor would understand about our tight fiscal restraints that we have this year. Our maintenance budget was several million dollars over budget this winter, because we are a big state,” Morosi said.
Fouts said one idea would be to use city crews to cut the weeds and then get reimbursed by the state.
Morosi said they would be open to discussing options.
“Our maintenance folks are willing to sit down with the mayor and say, look, what can we do to address this situation? To sit down and say, hey, can we put out heads together; can we come up with a situation, a viable situation, to attend to this problem?”