If you are concerned about pesticides along our roads, please take action today and tomorrow, Monday May 25 and Tuesday, May 26, to support the important Sedona Weed Barrier Project. This is a rare opportunity to show up and speak about how important herbicide reduction is to achieving the community’s vision and goals. This just in from Paul Gazda, board member of the Red Rock Road Enhancement Maintenance District:

Thank you to all who commented in February to support the Sedona Weed Barrier Project that will reduce herbicide spraying by the City on Hwy 89A. We need to speak up again.

NEW ISSUE: The Sedona Weed Barrier Project has been delayed until the 2016-17 budget. It was originally requested in 2013 and delayed until this year. It is now being delayed again.

YOU CAN HELP: Council will be hearing public comment before they vote on the tentative 2015-16 budget, so PLEASE JOIN ME in speaking about the importance of not delaying the weed barrier project, and asking that it be included in the 2015-16 budget.

WHEN: Tuesday May 26 at 4:30 pm.

WHERE: Council Chambers, Sedona City Hall, 102 Roadrunner Drive, West Sedona.

HOW: You need to fill out a comment card located near the entrance in order to speak. Indicate on the card that you want to speak on agenda item “9b Tentative City Budget”. Give the card to the City Clerk who is usually seated near the entrance. Be patient. There are other agenda items before this one.

WHAT: You will be given 3 minutes maximum to speak. When your name is called to speak, say you feel it is important to include the “SR 89A Landscape Improvement Weed Barrier project” in the 2015-16 budget. You may stop there, or continue with your reasons why you believe it is important.

DETAILS: For those interested in seeing the entire agenda and support materials, go to this link: http://www.sedonaaz.gov/Sedonacms/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=26142

If enough people speak up, Council may change the tentative budget to include the Sedona Weed Barrier Project this year. At the very least, it’s a great opportunity to bring the issue directly to Council’s attention.

EMAIL OPTION: I do not know if email will be an effective option in this case, but if you cannot or do not wish to speak publicly at the meeting, you can send an email to all of City Council from this web page: http://www.sedonaaz.gov/Sedonacms/index.aspx?page=1096. I recommend sending the email ASAP so it will be seen before the Tuesday meeting. State that you will be unable to attend the May 26 Council meeting, but want to voice your opinion on the Tentative 2015-16 budget. Be clear that you are asking that the “Capital Improvement Plan’s SR 89A Landscape Improvement Weed Barrier project” be included in the Tentative 2015-16 budget, and briefly state why you feel it is important.

I apologize for sending this on a holiday long weekend, but I just learned this information on Friday.

Thank you and best wishes,
Paul Gazda
Founder, Healthy Outdoor Public Environments

BACKGROUND INFO: From a previous email sent by Paul Gazda earlier this year: “We have a rare and important opportunity to help move Sedona one giant step forward in reducing herbicide use on the Hwy 89A landscaping. Community Development staff are proposing a capital improvement project to install a dual weed barrier system under the Hwy 89A landscaping from Dry Creek Road to Airport Road in the coming fiscal year (2015-16). Based on my recommendation, this system was installed under the rock mulch in the medians of Highway 179 where there are no plantings and has worked extremely well in preventing weed growth. The Hwy 89A dual weed barrier project is the result of meetings between HOPE and City staff that have been ongoing since October 2012…

Some of the relevant vision and community plan themes I have identified are: encouraging healthy and active lifestyles, priority given to protection of the environment, sustainability, walkability (let’s give people with chemical sensitivities the right to walk their streets at will), sense of place – appreciation and respect for our unique surroundings.

According to my calculations from data on herbicide purchases provided by City staff, nearly 30,000 gallons of herbicide was sprayed by the City from 2010 through 2013. Hazards associated with these herbicides include possible cause of cancer, eye and respiratory injury, asthma, and toxicity to fish and aquatic life from runoff.

Please come to this meeting and share your thoughts on how important it is for Sedona to take a major step in achieving the community vision by installing dual weed barrier on 89A…it is not only important to move us toward the community plan vision, but will also pay for itself in savings in 10 years.

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