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Orland funds weed control program
Orland's 2008 fire still haunts City Councilman Bruce Roundy, who lobbied last week for city funding to reduce the invasive arundo plant from Stony Creek.
Roundy recalled how the fire burned close to subdivisions near the creek and burned a shop business before it jumped across Highway 32 to burn more structures.
That is why he urged the council to approve $5,000 to cut back the bamboo-like plants this summer.
The Glenn County Resource Conservation District paid the $5,000 last year, Roundy said.
However, the resource district is seeking city funding this year.
The council approved the request after getting clearance from Finance Director Daryl Brock that money was available due to staff vacancies.
Councilman Jim Paschall said while he was originally against paying for the project, he changed his mind because there was more money from other sources.
Yet, he warned there may not be any city money available next year.
The project is a collaborative effort between the RCD, Glenn County Office of Education, the California Conservation Corps and now the city.
Since it is government funded, the youth crews will work on public lands owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, according to project coordinator Claudia Street with the RCD.
The 12 teens are employed through GCOE's Youth Employment Services during June and July, which is funded through a grant from the county's Human Resource Agency and other sources.
Keith Welch, with the conservation corps, supervises three crews out of Chico, who work with the Glenn County teenagers.
He said he is applying for a $175,000 grant to cover 10 more weeks of work this year. The teens may qualify to join the CCC through this program following high school graduation.
Council members agreed the arundo is a threat since it burns extremely hot and covers much of the creek area.
But they wondered why a large property owner along the creek was not asked to chip into the project and if there would be money to continue the project in 2013.
Councilman Dennis Hoffman suggested it could be "a stepping stone" to encouraging property owners to help pay for the eradication of arundo once they see how beneficial it is.
Former city councilman and current RCD board member Mike Yalow said a state official wants to come look at the efforts and consider it for a demonstration project on how to reduce fire danger.
Contact Rick Longley at 934-6800 or email@example.com.