Gypsy moth overspray policy passes with changes

·3 min read

Tiny residents can now open the spray nozzles on gypsy moths.

Council recently passed a policy that permits overspray onto public properties if private residents decide to hire a private applicator to spray Btk onto their properties.

The policy requires residents or contractor to submit a form informing the municipality of the spray four weeks in advance.

The provision, said Tim Leitch, director of public works/acting chief administrative officer, allows staff to inform the public in the area and take action to protect public property.

"There are recommendations going in place from different municipalities and within the service provider that talks about covering different items, like pet food, furniture, toys, playground equipment, barbecues, and pools," he said.

Coun. Tony Mintoff asked what changes he would consider to the policy keeping in mind the public feedback received, both in favour and against the spray treatment.

"I want to be clear: we don’t have an issue with the overspray," said Leitch. "I’m not going to be an obstacle to this. I just feel it’s important for us as owners of this property to make sure we manage it properly and to advise public of what’s going on."

Mintoff said he understood what the interim CAO was saying, but the wording in the policy indicated otherwise.

"It’s one thing to say we’re not going to be an obstacle but when you include language that says we may deny approval or permission, that presents potential for us to an obstruction," said Mintoff.

He was referring to clause number three, which says the township may deny applications due to proximity to:

a. Pollinator program areas

b. Playgrounds

c. Public beaches

d. Water sources, such as well heads, streams, lakes, creeks

e. Resident concerns/refusal to have overspray affect their private property

Mintoff said he wasn't in favour of the last clause as it concerned private properties and should be settled between neighbours.

"The only reason why we’d like to cover off private property is because some of our access pathways are very narrow," said Leitch. "They’re only 10-feet wide, so if there’s overspray, it’ll cover our property but it will also overspray to the adjacent property to ours. I just want to make sure that just because they have permission to overspray on Tiny Township property, they’re not allowed to do so over an adjacent private property."

Mintoff said he agreed with the clauses that covered the municipality for damages and costs incurred due to the spray.

Mayor George Cornell said he also had a few other concerns about the language used in the policy.

"Spray applicators must get permission for overspray on non-municipal properties from the private-property owners," he said, reading clause number five. "I’m not sure why we’re concerned about private property that’s between the neighbours or the applicator and the neighbours."

Mintoff backed up removing that clause with information he had obtained from the spray applicator.

"In my dealings with Zimmer, I just want to reiterate, they have a good neighbour policy where they won’t spray if they don’t have a waiver from the adjacent property," he said. "I think it’s their responsibility to notify people in the area."

In addition, Cornell said, he would like to see open road allowances and roads added to the list of municipal properties.

At the end of a lengthy discussion, the only change that was made was to the opening language of clause three to reflect a softer stance.

The policy was ratified with the change at the regular council meeting later the same day.

Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com