When two Tignish ball fields were sprayed with herbicide for weed control on Oct 24, “it was the first and last time as far as I’m concerned,” Mayor Allan McInnis said Wednesday.
During its monthly meeting on Monday Tignish town council passed a motion to have a bylaw drawn up to eliminate all spraying, except for agricultural use, within town limits.
The town has taken some heat from residents since the spraying because of a short notification period prior to the spraying. The town was notified that spraying would be occurring, only about an hour before it was carried out, and posted the notification to its Facebook page at that time, administrator Chancey Gaudette explained.
Residents complained to the town office about a lack of notice and that spraying was carried out while it was blowing.
Darlene Morrissey was concerned about the lack of advance notice and attended the monthly meeting prepared to present her concerns. She said she’s satisfied council is taking steps to prevent such incidents from happening again. Morrissey said she walks regularly throughout town with her dog and would likely have been on the ball fields the day of the spraying if it were not for an individual contacting her to make her aware of the situation. She said she subsequently saw just one small sign advising that spray had been applied.
It concerns her, too, she said that the spray applied is meant for agricultural use, not for recreational facilities.
McInnis said he doesn’t know if proper procedure was followed. He questions how much the spraying was really needed, noting the town leases a ball field from the parish and feels that field has gotten by fine without spraying.
The mayor said he wants to insure the Oct. 24 incident is not repeated, and suggested a bylaw would be an effective tool for preventing that from happening.
Council has instructed town administrator Gaudette to research bylaws dealing with chemical spraying in other Island municipalities.
McInnis said the intent is to have a bylaw in place by spring. He suggested this is good timing to work on adopting a new bylaw as, starting in January, the town will be working on a new official plan and will seek to incorporate the new bylaw into that plan.