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Lee County Reconsidering Weed Control

Nov 19, 2014

Lee County's Roadside Management program could make a comeback.

The program, which was part of the county's conservation office for years, consisted of the county's Weed Commissioner and another employee.  They worked to identify, control and eliminate noxious weeds from the ditches lining the hundreds of miles of roads overseen by the county.

In 2006, the progam was eliminated after Lee County Board of Supervisors ordered the conservation office to trim $100,000 from its budget.

It was replaced by a part-time Weed Commissioner, whose budget for salary and equipment is $10,000.

Lee County could reinstate its Roadside Management program to better address noxious weeds.
Credit Flickr / John Tann

Current Board Chairman Ernie Schiller's daughter, Alicia Schiller-Holland, was appointed to the post in 2007 and has served in that capacity ever since.

"The Weed Commissioner has told us 2-3 times that with the current budget she is given, it is not enough to keep up," said Ernie Schiller.

Schiller said this is why he and Vice Chairman Matt Pflug started working with the Conservation and Secondary Roads department on a new strategy.

The result is the proposed reinstatement of the Roadside Management program, with a full-time Weed Commissioner and an assistant.

"Hopefully, the future board will come up with some funding to put it in Conservation, where it probably needs to be, with some assistance from Secondary Roads, whether it is equipment or an employee," Schiller said.

He said a decision could be made when the Board of Supervisors crafts the county's budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2015.