Stop ‘this foolish practice’
Councillor says residents shouldn’t have to jump through hoops, pay fee to have lawn sprayed
“I believe this is a waste of our precious water supply. I have tried this approach and I am losing the battle.’’ Coun. Bob Doiron
A Charlottetown councillor says the city needs to stop hitting residents with a surcharge when it comes to having a lawn assessed for pests.
Bob Doiron says he has been getting calls, emails and is getting stopped on the street by residents upset the city charges a $50 fee to allow professional applicators to spray.
Some residents in the city are dealing with a chinch bug problem.
The Guardian did a story on that $50 fee earlier this month with Deputy Mayor Mike Duffy explaining that residents should only come to City Hall as a last resort and that the fee helps pay for the service of examining lawns, not to mention it helps dissuade everyone from calling.
Doiron is having none of it. “I would like this foolish practice stopped. Give the honest professionals the ability to spray an infested lawn if it is required,’’ Doiron said.
Duffy also suggested it is recommended that people with chinch bug issues water their lawn before 10 a.m. and after 7 p.m., as per Charlottetown’s water conservation bylaws, and once the resident thinks the lawn has been watered enough, water it some more.
Doiron said that’s bad advice, too.
“I believe this is a waste of our precious water supply. I have tried this approach and I am losing the battle.’’
Charlottetown council passed a pesticide bylaw that prevents companies from just going in and spraying. First, a professional applicator has to go to the property and see if there is an infestation. If the property is infested the resident has to go to the city, sign an application and to ask the city to inspect.
Then the professional applicator emails in a request to the city for a staff person to go to the property “which may take upwards of a week to be checked,’’ Doiron said.
Then, the staff person goes and checks the lawn, the staff person then sends an ok to the professional applicator, which them has to inform the surrounding neighbourhood. The next day, the professional can spray if the wind isn’t bad and there is no heavy rain in the forecast.
“After this long process, the professional bills you for his professional service, then he has to add the city $50 fee in to make this the cherry on top of this whole process,’’ Doiron said. “I have people calling me on limited pension’s, elderly people, young families, all who are just trying to stay in their homes and keep everything looking respectful. This fee just adds to the burden of their life.’’