CREATED Jul. 23, 2013
NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. - Quadriplegic Michael Hines shares his property with lines of tall power poles.
"I have owned this piece of property for 30 years and Lee County Co-op, they have an easement through my property," Hines said.
But the grass around the poles is out of control. And since Hines lost the use of his legs and arms in a home invasion three years ago, mowing the grass himself is out of the question.
A friend mows part of Hines' yard for free, but the grass around the power poles is a different story.
"Financially we can't hire somebody to do it and none of our friends have the means to do it," Hines' caregiver, Kim Fischer, said.
And now the high grass is causing an even bigger problem: rattle snake
"His rattles are as big as my hand and he was as wide as my arm," Fischer said.
One of Hines' three dogs, Sammy, was bitten by what he thinks was a rattle snake. Sammy died less than a day later, and now Hines thinks it's even more important the grass is cut.
Fox 4 went to LCEC to find out why they aren't mowing the grass.
"We don't maintain the easements unless it's required for us to access our facilities," Karen Ryan, LCEC Public Relations Manager, said.
Ryan said they mowed Hines' property until 2006, but stopped because it's not their property and it's too expensive.
But Hines disagrees.
"I would rather have them move the poles off my ground and put them on someone else's property if they're not going to maintain the property that they're using," Hines said.
Ryan said LCEC inspected Hine's property earlier this year and didn't find any problems with the grass. She told Fox 4 she can send someone back out to the property to look at it again.