Augusta, GA -
D.W. Williams lives across the street from a Richmond County detention pond on Sanderling Drive, which is off Boykin Road. He says keeping what's inside cut down is a problem. “Maintenance is an issue about it. We've had several large snakes, so whatever we can do to get it taken care of,” said Williams.
And, to take care of this, and two other detention ponds, the city's plan is to turn to goats.
“Usually, they have the prisoners come over here. I never heard of goats doing that,” said Tamika Williams, who lives two doors away from the detention pond.
“They’re using goats quite often, probably more than we think, in other areas of the country,” says Augusta Engineering Department director Abie Ladson.
Goats could certainly take on all the tall grass and weeds, but with animals...what goes in one end does come out the other and that could be an issue for those living nearby.
“It wouldn't be in my back yard. It would be close, though, I don't know. We'll see,” said Tamika Williams.
“If there is an issue, and an issue with pond, we got seven hundred ponds. We can change,” said Ladson.
The pond off the 3400 block of Mutimer Drive, near Meadowbrook Drive, is another one selected for the goat pilot program. The other pond is in the 1700 block of Rusk Drive, off Old Waynesboro Road.
“We're just going to us these three to see how it’s going to work. If these three work good, we got 740 ponds...detention ponds...that had not been cleaned. Do you know how much money that is, if we had to pay somebody to go in there,” said Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams.
"Strange idea, strange idea, but it if works, maybe it will save money. I don't know, we'll see,” said Tamika Williams.
“They'll take care of it as long as somebody is taking care of them. I'm all for it,” said D.W. Williams. “You wouldn't mind having them there?” we asked. “I wouldn't mind at all, sir,” he said.
The Engineering Department would like to start the goat program this month, but the city is still trying to track down about ten goats for the three ponds, and a way to transport them. The Augusta Animal Services Animal Shelter is on board to house the goats, if needed.