News 12 at 11 o'clock/ May 22, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Augusta Richmond County is going to the goats. We mean that literally because city leaders are bringing them in to help with overgrown lots.
City leaders approved a pilot program that will use goats to eat overgrown grass at retention ponds first. The goats plan received unanimous support from all the city leaders.
The giggles took over the commission meeting. City leaders mentioned every goat joke in the book.
"If I have to break the tie, I vote goat," Mayor Deke Copenhaver said.
"Is that going to be sole source or will that be put out through procurement," Commissioner Donnie Smith asked.
The plan is the city will bring in five goats at the cost of around $500. Animal control will take care of and feed them.
For three months, they'll monitor how fast the goats eat the grass. City leaders say it's basically a test to see how well the extra help works. The city uses a lot of prison labor to keep the grass cut.
"I think the goats are easier to control than prisoners. If you put prisoners out there, you have to make sure they don't run off," Commissioner Grady Smith said.
The whole idea started with Commissioner Marion Williams.
"We got 700 retention ponds around the city that don't get clean. Other cities are using goats. In Atlanta, they use them behind the mall and to keep the vegetation down," Commissioner Marion Williams said.
In Stillwater, Oklahoma, the city spent $1,500 to buy more than 20 goats to eat up grass, weeds and everything else.
The goat trial program starts in a month and then we'll see if the vote for the goats.