Officials: Take care of your own weeds

Officials: Take care of your own weeds

PAWTUCKET - It's been a summer of heavy weed growth in Pawtucket and other cities across the Northeast, as wet weather has mixed with hot days to cause the stubborn plants to sprout bigger and stronger than usual.

City Councilors said at their last meeting in August that some weeds have grown to three feet high or taller, creating an unattractive scene on many roadways.

Councilors say the city's weed problem may have been further exacerbated when Mayor Donald Grebien's administration announced in early August that workers had converted two vacuum litter collectors into "weedmobiles."

Though their announcement said that the weedmobiles began "making the rounds of the city's main streets and major arteries" in the spring, it did not state that side roads would not be addressed.

Councilor Terry Mercer, who said he's seeing "more and more" weeds in his Council District 3, asked Public Works Director Lance Hill to put "extra bodies" on the task of addressing weeds. But Hill told Mercer and his colleagues that his department's weed machine "typically stays on the main roads."

Basically, say city officials, "if you shovel it" as required when snow falls in wintertime, "you have to weed it."

But even some of the main roads have had problems this summer with heavy weed growth, said council members like Albert Vitali Jr. and others, creating an unsightly mess in many neighborhoods.

Hill said in early August that killing weeds along road edges remains a high priority for his department.

"Keeping city streets clear of weeds isn't glamorous work but it's a quality of life issue for many people," he said then.

Spraying was only scheduled to run through the end of August, according to officials, adding to the importance of residents taking care of remaining weeds in September.

The Wall Street Journal reported last Wednesday that weeds in states east of the Rocky Mountains "are as much as twice as abundant this year compared with last year" due in part to a wet growing season following a mild 2012-2013 winter and a dry summer. For gardeners, pulling weeds now "before they scatter the next generation all over flower beds can prevent lots of headaches next year," according to the paper.

Pawtucket officials say the addition of the adapted trash collectors as weedmobiles this year has been "more weeds treated in less time," and "a much more efficient" program than the old method of having a DPW worker walk around with a backpack filled with spray solution, according to Operations Manager Norm Lamoureux.

Dead weeds are later scooped up by city street sweepers. Lamoureux said that the above average rainfall this season, mixed with hot weather, promoted weed growth and reduced the number of days workers could be out spraying.

Comments

If most of our tax dollars weren't going to debt service, we'd actually get some services for the town...proper up- keep and good looks help property values.....bad or low standard up-keep and delapidated looks attract low lifes and hinder growth...keep spraying