MOUNT PLEASANT (KDKA) – Officials in Mount Pleasant are trying to figure out how to maintain foreclosed properties around town.

If you have ever visited the spectacular grasslands and savannahs of Africa, you know they are incredible to witness. And if you haven’t, you can always visit Mount Pleasant.

You won’t see any lions or giraffe there; instead, there are plenty of homeowners who are angry over the abundance of overgrown lawns at vacant homes.

Diane Fry lives on Washington Street where there are two overgrown homes – one is foreclosed and the other is up for sheriff’s sale.

“Just disgraceful, it’s so long,” she says.

But those homes are just two of many in the borough.

Most homes with the issue are owned by out-of-state banks, and replete with rats, snakes and not a mower in sight.

“When you don’t live here and you don’t live next to it… out of sight, out of mind,” says Jeff Landy, Mount Pleasant’s borough manager. “They could care less.”

That’s the feeling Landy gets when he tries to get the banks to take care of their property. A few companies told the borough they didn’t even know they owned the properties.

“We can tell you in April before the grass grows, we’re gonna be chasing them,” says Mayor Gerald Lucia.

In the past, church groups and the Boy Scouts came in to help mow the monster grass. But borough officials say that’s not fair.

“It’s not fair the Boy Scouts or church groups, that want to do good for their community, should have to take care of a banker’s problem,” said Mayor Lucia. “I’m sure they can afford to have their lawn cuts.”

There is something residents can do something. If you live near a mess, call the bank, repeatedly, write letters, be persistent.

The borough, meanwhile, says they want the state to step in and toughen up the laws for out-of-state property owners who don’t mow.

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