Council was informed the County of Stettler is hitting “reset” on its roadside spraying program during their Aug. 10 meeting.
The topic was brought up as an item added by Reeve Larry Clarke, who noted that the county was getting a lot of heat on social media with the current program.
“It was quite disappointing to see how some of the roadside spraying has been conducted,” said Clarke.
Chief administrative officer Yvette Cassidy agreed with Clarke’s sentiment, informing council she had passed the concern on to Rick Green, the county’s director of operations.
“After consultation, we’re going to do a reset on roadside spraying,” said Green.
“I think we need to take a hard look at what we are doing.”
The issue arises from a social media post on Aug. 8 criticising the county for the spraying, and killing, of trees along county roadways instead of trimming them back. The post garnered nearly 100 responses from the community, mostly negative.
Further driving the ire of the community, some of the photos show trees that have been sprayed in the lower half, yet the upper half is still green and vibrant and as the sprayers were unable to reach that height.
In a reply to the online comments, Coun. Justin Stevens stated that with Stettler County being a heavy agricultural district,
In a reply to the comments online, Coun. Justin Stevens stated that being a heavily agricultural district the County of Stettler has a legal obligation to perform weed control within its borders to limit their spread, that some tress are sprayed as it is more cost effective and that ratepayers can apply for their land to be no spray areas.
During the meeting Stevens also mentioned that spraying should be more targeted than it currently is.
The roadside spraying program will be brought before the Ag. Services Board for further discussion.