Billings Township delays decision on Hydro One using Garlon spray

KAGAWONG—Billings township council has delayed a final decision on whether to allow Hydro One permission to use the herbicide spray Garlon RTU for its regular vegetation maintenance in the community to its next regular meeting. 

“Our position is that we haven’t given Hydro One permission to spray Garlon in the township,” stated Councillor Sharon Alkenbrack at a Billings council meeting this past Tuesday. She explained that Councillor Brian Parker, “has asked us to postpone our final decision being made until the next meeting to allow councillors to read the information that has been provided by Hydro.”

Council was informed they had received a letter from Hydro One, in regards to council in April having rescinded its motion to give Hydro One approval to use Garlon spray in the township. 

Councillor Parker said the information had been received from Hydro One, and he had also found information on the Environmental Protection Agency on the Internet relating to this issue that he would like the chance for himself and council to review. “There is a whole package of information to read and I would like to table our decision until our next meeting,” he told council.

Mayor Austin Hunt said that “we can’t tell Hydro they can’t do this (use Garlon spray), there are quite a number of people that use this spray. We can’t say spraying is not allowed in the township.”

Clerk Kathy McDonald told council that she had informed Hydro One that it does not have permission to spray until council gives permission, after council had rescinded a previous motion to allow for Garlon to be used. “The question was asked by Hydro One if they can spray in the last letter we received April 27,” she told council.

“Technically they can spray,” stated Mayor Hunt.

Councillor Barb Erskine explained that council had received a letter from Hydro One acknowledging that they had been informed council had rescinded its original motion to allow Hydro to use Garlon. “I’m wondering if we need to make it clear council has not made a decision and Hydro will interpret that as a denial of approval. We need to make this clear to (Hydro One) and the public.”

Councillor Parker reiterated that he is requesting council’s final decision be left to its next meeting.

“There are no rules against spraying of Garlon,” said Mayor Hunt. “We (the municipality) use it. Since the letter from Hydro One was addressed to me I can contact them and tell them what our position is.”

“They (Hydro One) are expecting a written response on whether they have approval from council,” said Councillor Erskine.

“We haven’t dealt with this issue and made a final decision,” said Councillor Alkenbrack. “They don’t have permission to spray. I don’t see the need for you (mayor) to talk to them when Kathy has already talked to Hydro,” she said. “Originally we had received a request from Hydro One asking for permission to use garlon spray in the township. We did agree originally but then rescinded the motion. And we shouldn’t do anything until we read the information that they (Hydro One) and Brian (Parker) have provided.”

Council agreed to delay its final decision until their next regular council meeting.