FARMINGTON -- City officials hope an agreement signed with the property owners on the former Valley View Golf Course will take care of mowing the land.
The property owners have committed to mowing the property twice a year, in September and May, under the agreement.
Mayor Ernie Penn and city Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jay Moore and owners Joseph Stewart, Jennifer Stewart, John Lipsmeyer and Melissa Lipsmeyer, on behalf of Valley View Golf LLC, signed the agreement.
The deal ends litigation regarding the property formerly known as the Golf Club at Valley View, according to the agreement reached July 20 between the city and the landowners.
Penn last week said he hopes the agreement means the problem is resolved.
"It boils down to being responsible and taking care of your property," Penn said. "It's not something that should be an issue."
The property is no longer a golf course and can just be brush hogged, Penn said.
"It's just like mowing a pasture," he said. "This affects a tremendous amount of people, and it's not fair to those people in Valley View."
The city has sued the owners of the former golf course twice, claiming they violated the city ordinance dealing with unsightly or unsanitary conditions on property. They were first cited for violating the ordinance July 8, 2020, and found guilty in Washington County District Court, Farmington Division, by Judge Graham Nations.
The defendants were cited a second time June 14, 2021, for violating the city ordinance and found guilty again by Nations in district court.
This decisions were appealed to Washington County Circuit Court where Judge Mark Lindsay encouraged all parties to reach an agreement on mowing the property before their court date.
The city issued a letter to the property owners earlier this year that they once again were in violation of the ordinance.
The city has been reimbursed for its cost to mow the property three times. The first payment was for about $8,500. An $18,000 payment has been made for the last two mowings.
According to the mowing agreement, the landowners own five parcels of the former golf course with a total of about 103 acres. The owners agree to mow between May 1-14 and between Sept. 1-14 of each year. The first mowing under the agreement will be in September.
If the property owners fail to mow the property within the specified time frame, they agree to a late penalty of $250 per day until the property is mowed.
If the landowners fail to meet the provisions of the agreement, the city retains the right to file criminal charges.