Brazos County Commissioners Cancel Contract For Chemical Mowing

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BRYAN, Texas Widespread spraying of herbicide to control weeds in certain areas of Brazos County is coming to an end after complaints by some rural residents.

And some of those residents showed up at a Commissioner's Court meeting Tuesday morning.

News 3 captured what happened.

Brazos County residents are hoping dead areas will turn green again.

A packed commissioner's court erupted in applause after commissioners cancelled a controversial chemical mowing contract that went into effect last October to better maintain rural roads.

"I had no idea they were gonna spray. I didn't know," said resident William Sheffield.

Sheffield shared pictures of dead brush near his home on Dogwood Trail southwest of Easterwood Airport and is worried the spraying will lower his home value.

He's a retired Texas A&M Professor, Wildlife Expert and Ecologist.

"And if you look at the destruction in the pictures you can see how somebody might decide either 'Well I don't wanna live on this road,'" he said.

Residents are jokingly calling this whole street Deadwood Trail instead of Dogwood Trail because the spraying has killed so much of the vegetation.

Debbie Howard's house is also on this street which was sprayed by the county back in August 2012 before this contract in question.

"I'm greatly relieved, glad that it's not gonna continue in this form," she said.

County Engineer Alan Munger tells us the chemical spraying costs about $100 thousand less for treating dead trees and limbs instead of having to physically cut them, while chemical mowing of grass costs about the same as mechanically.

But you save money having to treat areas less often with the herbicide.

"Our main goal is to keep the county the road and bridge out of the courtroom for tort liability and keep the citizens out of the emergency room," Munger said.

"I think we could have done a better job you know I really do. I think we could have improved with the spray that we did," said Brazos County Judge Duane Peters.

What's still unknown is how soon these brown areas will look like they once did.

The county will continue to spray on a small scale as they've done for years treating areas around signs, bridges and areas where mechanical mowing is not possible.

Brazos County says it will not have to pay any additional money for breaking the contract with Roadside, Incorporated out of Auburn, Alabama.