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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin)

Village of Sussex - The ongoing controversy over weed spraying in the village is likely to continue next month when the Park and Recreation Board considers hiring, on an experimental basis, a Madison firm that uses natural, organic weed control rather the more conventional chemical sprays.

The village presently sprays for weeds on athletic fields and medians in streets and around municipal buildings such as Village Hall and the library.

The village does not spray for weed control in municipal parks with the exception of the Coldwater Creek residential development where the homeowner's association reimburses the village for the cost of the weed control, according to Village Administrator Jeremy Smith.

Smith said some village trustees have asked the village staff to explore using nonchemical methods of controlling weeds in an effort to reduce what the trustees perceive as a possible health and public safety threat posted by chemical weeds spray.

The Park and Recreation Board will consider at its January meeting retaining the Madison firm to conduct an experiment on some land within the Village Park where presently there is no weed control, Smith said.

If the experiment works, the Village Board may consider using the firm's weed control methods more extensively in the village.

"I could see next months meeting having broader implication," Smith said. The meeting is Jan. 21.

Meanwhile, the village will continue its annual approximately $5,000 with Trugreen company which uses conventional chemical sprays in their weed control work.

Smith said the community appears to be evenly divided over park land spraying.

"The Park Board recently did a survey and the results were pretty much 50-50," he explained.

"There are some people who think we should spray weeds in the parks. There are others who do not think we should spray either because of perceived public health reasons or to save money," he added.

January 2, 2014

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