Jun 272012

By Tammy Gray —

Holbrook’s free weed control program has been suspended following notification by the Arizona Department of Agriculture that weed spray cannot be repackaged by the city.

“We can’t repackage the Roundup, so we voluntarily ceased the program,” City Manager Ray Alley said.

He explained that the department wrote a notice of inspection after checking into the city’s program and learning that the chemical weed-killer was being distributed to citizens in bottles not properly labeled by the manufacturer.

According to Alley, he was first told that the city needed to label the bottles it was using for distribution, so labels were created.

“Then they said we can’t do that, it’s illegal,” he remarked.

Prior to the inspection, the city was distributing small bottles of concentrated weed killer for use in two-gallon sprayers at no charge to residents. The sprayers were also provided free of charge. The program was designed to help homeowners keep weeds down in yards and alleys, and help improve the city’s overall appearance.

Alley noted that he did not know whether any further action would be taken by the Department of Agriculture, or any other state or federal agencies. He also explained that he is looking at other options for keeping the program alive.

“We’re going to re-evaluate it and see how expensive it’s going to be if we can get bottles from the manufacturer,” he said. “I’m going to start pricing, and see if I can get a price break and keep giving it away.”