ARICHAT: Council has agreed to send a letter to the transportation minister about the lack of roadside brush and weed clearing this past summer.

During the regular monthly meeting of Richmond Municipal Council on September 24, Deputy Warden James Goyetche received council approval to send a letter to Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Lloyd Hines to increase the amount of brush clearing along roads in the municipality.

“At present, it’s not only unsightly, it’s a safety issue,” Goyetche told council.

The district 1 councillor said he’s received “a lot of complaints” from around Richmond County about the amount of weeds and brush on the sides of roads and highways.

“It’s been bad all summer and I’ve been approaching the department of transportation, and now it’s come to a point, it’s not longer unsightly, like I mentioned, it’s becoming a safety issue… it’s not only people driving, it’s people walking, it’s people biking,” Goyetche said.

“When they say they have no money available, no funding, you can’t put a dollar value on safety. I think that’s ridiculous. It has be done, get it done.”

During Question Period in the Nova Scotia Legislature on September 13, Cape Breton-Richmond MLA Alana Paon told the house about numerous complaints from constituents concering the amount of weeds and brush growing along roads and highways.

Paon told the house that excessive roadside vegetation interferes with mobility and visibility for pedestrians. Because the department’s resources are inadequate, the Progressive Conservative MLA pressed the minister to commit to purchasing another machine to clear the roadsides and along highways in her constituency.

Hines responded that his government committed additional funds of over $2 million for brush cutting and vegetation control and added that his government’s efforts to have more equipment available across the province are evident.