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This Arlington program lets residents borrow lawn mowers, pressure washers. Here's how to sign up

A man in a neon orange shirt roots through papers in a metal box. He's inside a mobile enclosed trailer that has a broom, rake and yard equipment visible in frame.
Kailey Broussard
/
KERA News
Ron McCall with Arlington code compliance shuffles through papers inside the tool sharing program trailer.

Demand for a pilot city program that lends tools out to residents has soared in the weeks after rainstorms jumpstarted grass growth.

Craig Lane has become a regular with the tool sharing program offered by Arlington’s code compliance department. He reserves lawn equipment every other week, as well as other specialized tools he does not have in his shed.

“It helps me a lot,” Lane said as Ron McCall with code compliance unloaded a lawn mower. “I have some things, but I don’t have all the things. Living alone with a mortgage, it helps me out a lot financially.”

Code compliance filled nearly 300 reservations between the program’s February 2021 launch and August. The rentals addressed around 207 potential code violations, according to Neal Lucas, field operations manager.

Lucas said code compliance officers know to advertise the program when visiting a home due to issues including high grass, building damage or dilapidated fences. The program is free to homeowners and renters, so long as they have an identification and recent utility bill.

The program is the first city in Texas to offer doorstep rental tool and equipment delivery, according to Lucas.

“It gives us an option that we can offer when someone tells us their lawn mower is broken or they don’t, say, own a pole saw … it kind of gives an option to provide free use of those tools to Arlington residents,” Lucas said.

A man wearing a dark blue Dallas Cowboys sweatshirt, cap and knee-length shorts with knee-high socks talks to a man with a neon orange shirt and khakis. They're standing inside a green-painted shed that contains a bicycle, assorted boxes and an orange yard tool. The man in the Cowboys merchandise, Chris Lane, has his arms slightly spread out as he speaks, while the man in neon, Ron McCall, smiles at him with his hands on his hips and partially tucked into his pant pockets.
Kailey Broussard
/
KERA News
Craig Lane, left, talks to Ron McCall with Arlington code compliance after McCall dropped off rental yard equipment. Lane is a regular of Arlington's tool sharing program, which launched in February 2021.

Code compliance delivers tools to residents three times a week using a repurposed enclosed trailer. People can borrow equipment for up to three days and check out tools from different categories, including painting, litter cleanup, yard maintenance and home and fence repair.

Zahdul Amin and his mother use the program to mow their and their neighbors’ yards and to trim their front yard trees.

“The neighbors’ yard would be bad (if they couldn’t mow it),” Amin said.

Lucas said the program’s exceeded his expectations. It initially meant to focus on lawn care and maintenance but expanded to include non-code compliance issues. One of the most common uses, he says, is pressure washing.

“That’s one of those things that doesn’t really correct a code violation, but it can definitely spruce up someone’s home and can definitely add a lot of curb appeal to pressure wash,” Lucas says.

People can sign up for the tool sharing program by calling the city’s Action Center at 817-459-6777 or filling out an online application form.

Got a tip? Email Kailey Broussard at kbroussard@kera.org. You can follow Kailey on Twitter @KaileyBroussard.

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Kailey Broussard is a reporter for KERA and The Texas Newsroom through Report for America (RFA). Broussard covers the city of Arlington, with a focus on local and county government accountability.