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TOWN COUNCIL CONSIDERS $40,000 MOWER TO CUT AWAY MOSS GROWTH IN SALEM POND

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The Town Council is looking to a device called a "moss mower" to possibly eliminate the town's longstanding problem of uncontrolled moss growth in Salem Pond.

The mower, which would cost approximately $40,000 with a barge, would mow the moss, cutting it off so it could float out of the pond. The mower could cut from 1 to 4 feet into the pond. It's one of the possible solutions the council considered in a recent meeting.Mayor Allen Woodhouse told the council that the city could build their own mower for approximately $2,000. He said the mower idea might be out of the city's current expense range.

However, council members said they want to visit Fish Lake to see one of the mowers in action before coming to a decision.

Another option would be to plant carp, which would eat the moss. The pond once had carp, but the fish grew uncontrolled and finally had to be removed, Councilman Kenneth Swenson said.

The proposed $300 fish project could be better managed and controlled now that city maintenance crews have a better idea of how to curb the carp population, he said.

If the town could correct the moss problem, the pond could be opened for recreational opportunities, Swenson said. Existing work is being done "to improve the aesthetics of the pond and the surrounding area. Now might be the time to get all the work done."

Salem Pond Board members J. Angus Christensen and Kenneth Sheen also attended the meeting.