Stop ‘this fool­ish prac­tice’

Coun­cil­lor says res­i­dents shouldn’t have to jump through hoops, pay fee to have lawn sprayed

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY DAVE STE­WART dave.ste­wart@the­guardian.pe.ca Twitter.com/DveSte­wart

“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.’’

Bob Do­iron

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