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Macleod to set priorities for mowing and spraying

Town council will create a policy establishing priorities for mowing and weed spraying.
Town of Fort Macleod municipal manager David Connauton told council Sept. 24 there is a need for such a policy.
“To date the town does not have a policy dealing with areas to be mowed and sprayed with herbicide,” Connauton explained in a written report to council. “I have received several complaints from citizens.”
Connauton told council people have complained about issues such as tumbleweeds, grass and weed growing along the curbs and on sidewalks.
People also complain about fields of weeds on the west side of Fort Macleod.
“As you are aware, we have many areas which are not mowed or sprayed, or if they are mowed it is not done on a consistent basis,” Connauton added.
Those areas include Town of Fort Macleod land between the horse paddocks and 10th Street, and property around Westwinds Stadium.
The Town of Fort Macleod also has vacant lots in the west end of the industrial park and other undeveloped parcels of land.
“We have some big areas with grass in this community, no question,” Mayor Shawn Patience said.
Connauton told council that as a policy is developed consideration must be given to several factors, including:

  • The Town of Fort Macleod has just one licensed herbicide applicator.
  • The town has an obligation to eliminate noxious weeds in the community.
  • “We have a lot of noxious areas,” Connauton said of the weeds, noting the MD of Willow Creek applied about $10,000 worth of herbicide this year in the community.

  • There are many open fields and it is not realistic to expect every single one to be mowed.

“However, those that are next to the areas where we plan on enforcing unsightly properties (by-law) should be dealt with,” Connauton added.
Connauton asked council to use a map he provided to identify areas that should be priorities for mowing and spraying.
Council instead handed the project back to administration.
“I would like to see you bring us a policy with guidelines . . . some kind of plan,” Patience said.
Coun. Sharan Randle urged Connauton to work from the inside out.
“Priorities should be around residential areas and then fan out,” Randle said.
Patience agreed with Connauton that a systematic approach is needed.
“Fire safety is another issue,” Patience said. “If we ever have a grass fire coming in from the west and we have two feet tall grass — look out.”

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