Greenways’ Sandra Milligan tackles Scotch Broom along the Myrt Thompson Trail during last year’s Broom Bash.

Campbell River holds off on upping the battle against Scotch broom

City council was hesitant Monday night to commit to annually funding efforts to control and eradicate Scotch broom.

Terri Martin, the city’s environmental specialist, was recommending council direct staff to prepare a Service Level Change Request to put $10,000 each year towards increased Scotch broom removal on city lands.

That request would be considered in December during 2018 financial plan deliberations.

But Coun. Larry Samson said he couldn’t support that plan as he’s concerned council is going to be hit with too many requests for new or enhanced services come budget time.

“All of a sudden, we’re going to come to the 2018 Financial Plan and see all these Service Level Change Requests council’s endorsed and I think it’s leading down a slippery slope,” Samson said. “Doing these one-offs every council meeting or every second council meeting isn’t a way I’d like to see us go forward.”

The funding for the Scotch broom removal is aimed at increasing broom control and reducing plant coverage, Martin said, similar to the city’s knotweed control program under which annual funding is administered through Greenways Land Trust with the help of an inventory kept by Broombusters.

“Despite extensive control efforts through BroomBusters and Greenways Land Trust, broom is pervasive and is found throughout road corridors, some park edges and other city-owned land,” Martin said.

“Since the city will need to continue to lead by example, the current level of broom control will need to be bolstered to match broom control expectations on private land.”

Martin added that an ongoing list of sites observed by both city staff and the public is intended to help the city create an annual list of high priority sites tagged for treatment, and noted that the funding may not necessarily have to remain at $10,000 each year as over time, it’s expected progress would be made on control coverage.

In addition to staff’s recommendation for council to set aside yearly funding for increased broom removal, staff also made some changes to its bylaws, moving regulation of noxious weeds (giant hogweed, knotweed and yellow flag iris) which are threatening the native habitat and invasive plants (Scotch broom) to the city’s Environmental Protection Bylaw.

That bylaw is now drafted to ban anyone from planting noxious weeds or invasive plants on any property and ordering every property owner to keep their property clear of both noxious weeds and invasive plants.

Samson’s motion, though, to defer the decision on funding to the financial plan also included holding off on moving forward with the bylaw change, much to Coun. Ron Kerr’s dismay.

“Deferring the SLCR (Service Level Change Request) I can understand but I can’t understand deferring the bylaw. I won’t be supporting that,” Kerr said.

“I do support the removal of noxious weeds and my annual battle with them is well-documented. I think this is important.”

Mayor Andy Adams assured Kerr, and the rest of council, that the item will be back for council to consider.

“I look forward to having this come forward with the plethora of requests that come forward,” Adams said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Oyster River department battles Black Creek house fire

UPDATED: House suffers extensive damage, no one inside at time

Campbell River fruit tree project carries on despite pandemic

More volunteers wanted for Greenways’ initiative

Downtown storm drain repair will begin on August 10 in Campbell River

Starting Monday, drivers and pedestrians will expect minor delays between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m

What does the nearly $10 million RCMP contract get the people of Campbell River?

Despite discussion around police funding, response techniques and use of force, the… Continue reading

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

U’mista Cultural Centre will host a native art contest to raise funds for artists

All artists of Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw descent are being called to participate in the contest to be held on August 28

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read