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Watts is dedicated to his neighborhood

By Matt Marquardt –

MASON CITY – On an incredibly beautiful early January day, Mason City resident Chris Watts broke out his lawnmower.

This is unheard of for this time of year in North Iowa, but due to Watts’ dedication to his neighborhood, and the fact that the weather was cooperating, Watts thought it was a great chance to spruce up.

“I’m on vacation this week,” Watts explained. “I broke out the old lawnmower and got her running.”

Watts took the mower across the street from his home, located at 237 19th Street SE, and took to the area just north of the new bike trail the city recently completed work on.

Working along a three-block stretch, Watts began mowing down all the old, dead weeds and small branches.  “The work was completed so late in the season, we really didn’t get a chance to get to this,” Watts said.  So, he took advantage of the weather and went to work.

Watts began working Thursday morning and worked into the early afternoon.  This has been an on-going project for Watts.  He had about 279 lilac bushes planted along the path and wants to plant 25 more.  He makes sure the city is aware of anything out of the ordinary, like excessive littering or people dumping junk along the side of the road.

Watts helps direct the Georgia Hanford Neighborhood organization which has played a huge part in beautifying the 19th Street SE area as well as the entire neighborhood.

“We need more donations,” Watts said.  “Anyone who wants to help can mail a check made out to the Georgia Hanford Neighborhood to 237 19th Street SE here in Mason City.”

Watts says Mason City Overhead Door made the first-ever contribution to the group, a check for $500.

“We also ask the city for help, and they usually come through,” he said.

Until you see snow on the ground, you will likely find Watts outside picking up trash or pushing a mower or a rake somewhere along 19th Street.

“If everyone pitches in, we can make Mason City a great place to live,” he said.




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I know the area he is working in. This was a massively overgrown dumpy area on one of Mason City’s heavier traveled streets. I commend the neighborhood in cleaning this up. BUT it wasn’t just railroad property. The city owns up to the lilac hedge they planted. They were equally guilty of neglecting their responsibility. Keep up the good work!!

If my understanding of rail road property is correct, the area that Watts was mowing in the video, belongs to the traction rail road. Dave Johnson was probably happy to let Watts clean it up. RR’s usually own property 50 feet either way from the center line of the tracks. The CITY has NO control of this property, thats why the areas adjacent to RR tracks look the way they do. RR’s really don’t care what their tracks look like as long as the trains can roll. If you doubt what I say, keep an eye on the tracks east, of east park, on state street, or any of the other tracks in town. I guess that if there’s an area in town that has not been kept up to your standards, blame it on the city workers. You could volunteer your time and clean it up, then call the city and have them come and pick it up.

Thanks for making North Iowa a nice place to live!

Chris isn’t mowing city property, he is mowing railroad property. Why the hell can’t they mow their own grass?

i think that if your city workers were to do this job then the people of mason would complain about the tax money being spent!! With volunteers doing this it will be taken care of when it needs to be done and not when the city gets to it.. Good job on taking the step! Id have the city purchase you a nice riding mower of different one to use, not yours!! Or maybe you can get the worthless jailbirds to be brought over and mow it. But either way good job chris!!!

Now, if we could get the lazy city workers outta the trucks!!!!!

Mr. Watts, What a terrific sense of community pride and dedication. I salute you for a job well done. Thank you!!!!

Go Chris! Nice work. Hope L. D.s don’t have to close for lack of product!

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