The cost for lawn maintenance cuts too deep, said several residents of the city's public housing at a special meeting Monday night.
"The $25 for lawn care – it's a little steep," said Timothy Durkin, a resident and president of the residents council.
The purpose of low-income housing is to "help low-income tenants, not to put them in debt," said another resident Melenshea Murphy.
“If they came down $10, I think we could do it,” said Mirage Maestas.
The $25 fee is a monthly charge if tenants do not cut their own lawns and their lawns are cut by city's public housing workers, said Tucumcari city manager John Sutherland.
The meeting Monday was arranged after several tenants came to a recent city commission to complain about the lawn care fee. Listening to resident complaints were Sutherland, City Commissioner Jim Witcher, the liaison to the commission regarding the fees, and Suzanne Mullenix, with the city’s Senior Citizen Center.
Less than a year ago, the city hired a new housing director who has begun enforcing regulations that were approved in 2005 by the city commission, said Sutherland and Witcher.
Sutherland said he planned to meet with Tucumcari Housing Authority staff to learn if a new fee schedule could be worked out at the local level.