Solid Waste Director Mark Johnson faced some resistance from commissioners regarding a request to outsource lawn services rather than continue to rely on free inmate labor.
The argument he made, that inmates aren’t efficient and that they aren’t really free by the time you factor in transportation costs and the equipment for them to use, was a difficult one to make with everyone so focused on financial matters, especially since everyone has been conditioned to think of inmate labor as one big, untapped free resource.
While understanding that inmate labor might not be the way to continue to go, Commissioner Marion Williams challenged his colleagues to save money in ways other than outsourcing.
“We’ve got to get creative,” he said. “We can get aggressive. We can get proactive. We can get open minded and do some things that will help us without outsourcing.”
His solution to cleaning up the overgrown lots and abandoned parcels? Goats.
Goats, he said, are the only animal you don’t have to feed because, well… they’re goats, and they’ll eat anything.
He’s seen it done, he said. In Atlanta. If shopping center owners have a retention pond that needs trimming around, they just put up some temporary electric fences and bring in the goats.
It’s that simple.
Later in the meeting, a fellow commissioner wondered aloud if goats might be an effective way to handle the demolition of the dilapidated houses that have become such a problem. You Might Also Like: