Saturday, June 16, 2007

DOT Can Save Money on Maintenance

You've seen the crews cutting grass and removing weeds near the roadways in Wisconsin. They use a fair amount of equipment, not to mention labor, to keep the roadsides clear. And some of the work is performed on steep hillsides, requiring extra modifications to the equipment.

Another "spending" problem.

What about reducing the cost? It CAN be done.

Goats make quick work of weeds

The city of Seattle paid $2,500 for work performed Tuesday by those who ate, slept and lay down on the job.

Tuesday, under contract for "vegetation removal," Craig Madsen's brown-eyed herd denuded part of a steep 1-acre hillside at a City Light substation in the Maple Leaf neighborhood. They ate English ivy and blackberry brambles that the city considers a fire hazard.

"It's a tough site, but they're built for this," said Madsen, owner and operator of Healing Hooves LLC of Spokane, which provides natural weed and plant control using goats and sheep. "It's basically what goats do: They eat, sleep, hang out and eat some more."

Jean Godden, chairwoman of the Seattle City Council's Energy and Technology Committee, said, "It's appropriate that we use goats to control weeds, to help us be environmental stewards."

And, of course, no union contract disputes.

Too bad the damn things don't eat snow.

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