Troup County begins new right-of-way spraying program

amccallum@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 29, 2010 

LAGRANGE, Ga. — Troup County officials expect to save more than $213,000 with the implementation of a new right-of-way spraying program.

Officials said they spend nearly half a million dollars a year to mow and maintain county right-of-ways. The maintenance process uses inmate labor, thousands of gallons of diesel fuel and emits more than 400 tons of carbon dioxide.

During a press conference Monday, County Manager Mike Dobbs said the new spraying program is likely to save money and the environment. The county has contracted with Natur-Chem, who will spray the roadside to retard grass growth.

"It's a win-win," Dobbs said, adding it is likely to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 194 tons and cut costs.

Natur-Chem has been used in neighboring Coweta County and in Troup the first round of spraying was conducted last month.

Officials said the chemicals used to spray the area will not negatively impact the environment and the concentrations being used are below the maximum allowable. The herbicides being used are also registered with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Tod Tentler, assistant county manager, said the spray will not eliminate the grass. It is merely intended to curb growth so mowing will be needed less frequently.

"We're not trying to kill the grass. We're trying to promote low growing grass," he said.

This year will serve as an evaluation period for the county, officials said. If it is successful it will likely continue.

Any citizen who wishes to opt out of the program may do so by contacting dwells@troupco.org. The e-mail should include the name of the homeowner, address and brief statement explaining they would like to opt out.

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