ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A busy monsoon season has led to overgrown weeds sprouting up across Albuquerque. The city is working to keep up with the problem, but on limited staffing. “It has been pretty amazing. It has been great to have big rains every day,” says David Hanson.
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With the rain, weeds have started popping up in yards, medians, and sidewalks all over town. “They’ve been going pretty crazy everywhere you look,” said Hanson.
The city has received 2,025 weed complaints just in the past two months, a slight uptick from the same period last year. “We always expect kind of a surge or an increase in calls that come in related to weeds. Simply because this time of year in Albuquerque, we have the monsoons that come through town and warmer temperatures. That combination makes weeds grow,” said Brennon Williams, Planning Director with the City of Albuquerque.
The city’s planning director Brennon Williams says their weed season started a lot earlier this year because of the wet winter. This year is different compared to previous years. With a staff shortage because of the pandemic, the department only has eight inspectors to investigate weed and litter complaints and give out notices. Typically, they have 16. “We’re doing the best we can with the staff that we have on right now,” said Williams.
Williams says they receive anywhere from 130 to 150 complaints specific to weeds and litter every day. They also try to have inspectors out within two business days to address the issue. “Even though we are somewhat short-staffed, we have very dedicated individuals who are getting out there and getting notices written as quickly as possible,” said Williams.
The solid waste department, which is responsible for cleaning up weeds on city streetscapes and medians, is also short-staffed. They’re down ten workers on their cleanup crews and have been approved to hire temporary staff to help attack the weed problem.