93 properties owe Atascadero $164,500 for weed abatement

Atascadero will collect about $164,500 from 93 properties that didn’t remove weeds and other combustible debris from their properties this summer.

The city contracts to complete the work on delinquent properties that don’t meet the city’s June 1 abatement deadline. The fee comes from property owners’ 2011-12 property tax rolls. The annual Atascadero Fire Department program is designed to lessen fire fuels on properties so there’s less chance of a large fire building before fire crews arrive.

The charges include the cost of the contractor as well as a 150 percent administrative fee for city staff time to write notification letters, create mailers, make site visits and complete related work to run the program.

Weed abatement fees don’t bring in profits to the city, officials said, since the charges only allow for the city to break even on program overhead.