No decision on how to proceed with a program to reduce weeds in Creston parks is likely until later in the year, Mayor Ron Toyota says.
Council was taken by surprise when a controversy arose over spraying in Centennial, Millennium and Burns parks in May, he said.
“The signage was inadequate and the contractor (from the Okanagan) has admitted that,” he said. “But the chemical used is approved by Health Canada, is used by many municipalities and school districts in B.C. and is considered harmless 15 minutes after application.”
At a special committee of the whole meeting on June 17, the contractor was in attendance, along with Karolyn Whitford, a mother of four who organized an online petition to ban the spraying of pesticides in Creston parks.
“There was a very good discussion that included Karolyn Whitford and the contractor, Steven Boltby,” Toyota said. “I was impressed with Karolyn’s research.”
A mother of four who organizes local protests against Monsanto, Whitford said she would not allow her children to play in parks where chemicals are sprayed, including the Rotary Splash Playground in Centennial Park. She specifically objected to the use of Nufarm Trillion Turf Herbicide, which contains 2,4-D, saying it is an ingredient in Agent Orange.
Toyota said there were no further plans to spray local parks this year, so there is no rush to address the issue.
“Council has adequate time to gather information and get direction from our taxpayers before next spring, so it will be able to make an informed decision about how to proceed at a later date,” he said.
•Also at the June 17 special committee of the whole meeting, council agreed to proceed with staff recommendations to change the development cost charge bylaw. An amendment will be introduced at a future meeting to increase cost charges and designate the entire town, not just specific areas. The process will include further opportunity for residents to comment.