A Tiny shoreline group feels a new policy allowing over-spraying on municipal properties may be coming too late for residents to book their appointments.
Lynne Archibald, secretary Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations (FoTTSA), said the group appreciates council's decision to let residents go ahead with a private spraying program, but adds that a municipal spray program would have been better.
"FoTTSA regrets that Tiny Council has not listened to the majority of residents who wanted gypsy moth spraying by the township to save our private and public trees," she wrote in an email to MidlandToday.
"FoTTSA welcomes Council’s decision to not stand in the way of private property owners who want to contract spraying at their own expense, but we don’t understand Council’s continued insistence on complicating private spraying by saying that guidelines will be released on February 3rd.
"The township simply does not have the authority to restrict spraying by private owners. Residents who wait may find that sprayers are fully booked," added Archibald.
The Feb. 3 date came forward after Coun. Tony Mintoff brought up the matter at a recent committee of the whole meeting.
"I will refer you to the latter part of the FoTTSA's letter," he said to staff. "A small window exists to book spraying operations. Delays now could put these programs out of reach for residents in hard-hit areas.
"With that in mind," said Mintoff, "my question to the director of public works and our acting CAO is in terms of where are we sitting right now in terms of the development of the policy that council has asked public works to facilitate the spraying on private property."
Interim CAO Tim Leitch, who's also director of public works, provided an update.
"We will have a report brought forward on Feb. 3 and we will be requesting it gets ratified that day to assist our residents in planning," he said, adding the report is being prepared incorporating several emails staff has received, mostly in favour of the spray program.
"But there are also people out there that are very concerned about it. The responses we have received in the development of this policy will respect both areas."
In general, said Leitch, the township plans on going ahead to permit overspray on municipal properties only. However, residents will have to inform the municipality before doing so, he added.
"We will not be standing in the way or being an obstacles in this," said Leitch. "As noted before, we are not engaging in a public spray program on both municipal and private properties, however, the overspray policy will enable private property owners to successfully schedule and perform the spray programs as they see fit for their particular area."