By Nick Worth
A new city department charged with code enforcement and safety is being put in place, according to Holbrook City Manager Ray Alley.
“The department will have three and a half people,” said Alley. Department head Doyce Stuart will be in charge of two other full-time employees and will also get help from weed control specialist Julie Harrison.
According to Alley, Stuart’s new department will be responsible for code enforcement of such nuisances as “weeds, trash, litter and junked cars.
“In addition to weed mowing and spraying, they’ll be enforcing the city code on dangerous buildings,” Alley said. “Street sweeping will also come under this department.”
Harrison works at the city’s treatment plant, and is also licensed by the State of Arizona in herbicides and pesticides. She will be running the new “Weed Buggy” recently purchased by the city.
The Weed Buggy is a Kubota four-wheeler equipped with a weed-spraying rig that features both expandable spray bars and a hand-held wand. A mower unit pulls behind the buggy mounted on a trailer, which can be detached with the pull of a pin.
“With this, Julie will be able to mow the weeds in an alley, drop the mower and then go back through the alley spraying the weeds,” said Alley. He noted that the buggy is equipped with air conditioning and heating units, and cost the city $22,966.87.
Alley said the air conditioning was a necessity.
“It’s such a hot, dusty job, mowing the weeds around town,” Alley said. “Now everybody will want to do that job.”
A storage shed at Hunt Park was quickly converted into a garage for the Weed Buggy last week when city workers cleared away a cinderblock wall to reveal a garage door, which had been put in place earlier.
“We were just using this to store some stuff,” said Alley. “Now it will be where we keep the Weed Buggy, because it will mostly be used at this end of town.”
Alley said with the budget cutbacks in place this year, his crews will be focused more on cleaning up the city.
“We’d like to encourage people to cut their own weeds,” Alley said. “If they can’t haul them off, they can contact us and we’ll haul off their cut weeds at no charge.
“If they have to have help in cutting them, we’ll do it at an affordable rate,” Alley said.
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By Nick Worth