WELCOME wet weather across the Bathurst region through winter and spring has our dam overflowing and our roadsides overgrowing.
Bathurst Regional Council's maintenance crews have been stretched to their limit trying to keep on top of the mowing needed for around 3000 hectares of verges, reserves and parks with grass and weeds in some areas almost one metre high.
The result has been a city that prides itself on always looking neat and tidy for visitors left looking more than a little shabby.
Council's recreation manager Mark Kimbel said his department was throwing all available resources at the problem, with extra seasonal staff already on the books.
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"Council currently has 12 mowing operators to mow and maintain approximately 3000 hectares of land including local residential parks, open space areas, selected roadside verges and drainage reserves," Mr Kimbel said.
"Council has also commenced with the employment of seasonal mowing staff, which are employed at this time each year to assist in reducing as much as possible the time it takes to undertake a full cycle of mowing.
"And council has a contract for the supply of labour and equipment with Glenray Industries, with a team that consists of five people who assist in mowing operations.
"Council does not have further funding or resources to employ any additional staff at this time, including the associated plant and equipment that would be required to be able to increase its current frequency of mowing activities."
Mr Kimbel said the Bathurst region had not experienced a growing season like this in many years following an extended drought.
"At this present time it is taking approximately six to seven weeks for council's mowing crews to complete a full cycle of mowing within Bathurst," he said.
"Council's resources are stretched trying to keep up with the rapid growth of grass throughout the city during these favourable rainy periods and will continue to utilise its full resources in order to deliver mowing services to the many parks, open space areas and drainage reserves, as fast as possible."
Mr Kimbel reminded property owners that there was an expectation for them to attend to mowing on the verges adjacent to their premises.
"This includes business properties as well as residential properties," he said.
"This expectation is placed upon all property owners where such properties are occupied.
"On the whole, most property owners accept this responsibility and assist in keeping their verge in an acceptable condition."
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