Rite of spring: County to start spraying roadsides

9:37 am April 3rd, 2013

Beginning next week, Pierce County roadsides will get their annual makeover this spring and summer.
An initial application of herbicides to combat weeds along road shoulders will start April 8 and continue through June, according to county officials. Targeted noxious weeds and brush control applications will occur through the end of November as needed.
Only federal and state-approved herbicides are used, officials said.
County workers will also mow, cut brush and trim trees along roads during the spring and summer. The work, which will be carried out when weather allows, is part of Pierce County’s integrated roadside vegetation management program.
“Our county roads need to be neat and free of obstacles for the safety of motorists and pedestrians,” said Bruce Wagner, Public Works and Utilities road maintenance manager.
The annual maintenance also reduces fire danger, optimizes storm water drainage, helps control noxious weeds and non-native plants, and promotes native plant growth.
Property owners who don’t want roadsides adjacent to their properties sprayed can sign an “Owner Will Maintain” agreement with the county. Under this agreement, the property owner agrees to maintain the vegetation. If the property owner fails to perform as required, the maintenance of the right-of-way reverts to the county, officials explained.
The agreement must be renewed each March. The landowner must display a sign indicating their participation in the program prior to the application of herbicides.
Agreement applications and signs are available at the county’s Central Maintenance Facility, located at 4812 196th St. E. in Spanaway, and by appointment at the West County Maintenance Facility.

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