HEFLIN — The spraying of herbicides along the county rights of way in Cleburne County has ended but not because of public pressure to end the practice.
Cleburne County Commissioner Terry Hendrix announced at the end of a Tuesday afternoon work session that the roadside spraying contract has been completed for this year.
According to Commissioner Emmett Owen, the contract included two right of way sprayings, which entailed the spraying of 338 miles of right of way.
Owen said the contract for 2022 will come up for a vote in December, but he had his doubts that the vote would even happen. According to Owen there are 1,400 miles of right of way in the county which are found alongside both dirt and paved roads.
After the work session Owen and Mark Truett, an opponent of the spraying, discussed the practice.
Truett said that during the end of the most recent spraying, the contractor switched the herbicide to Target 6 Plus, which he characterized as even worse than the chemical cocktail used previously.
Truett said that the chemical has been banned in several states and has limited use but is still approved for roadside spraying.
“It’s some nasty stuff,” Truett said about the arsenic-based chemical.
Truett said the earlier formula, which used the chemical cocktail, wasn’t any better.
“That method of spraying is a horrible way to maintain a road, you end up with all these non-native weeds,” Truett said.
In other business, the commission discussed replacing aging and corroded pipes in the county jail.
Jail administrator Lane Kilgore told the commissioners that corrosion is not the only issue with the plumbing.
“The problem is there is just one cutoff for the building, we can’t just shut the water off to one pod,” Kilgore said.
If there was just one plumbing issue in the jail the water supply to the entire building would have to be cut off until repairs are made.
Commissioner Owen the answer is to replace the bad six-to-eight-piece section plus install extra valves along the route of the pipe so the entire jail would not be without water during a plumbing issue.
According to Cleburne County Sheriff Dennis Green, the jail was completed in 2002.
County Administrator Kim Brown said a number of speakers will address the commission at next week’s meeting including Leonard Molden who has been plagued by drainage issues for years at his residence.