Goats hired to clear brush along Breckenridge creek

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BRECKENRIDGE Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The City of Breckenridge is dealing with an overgrowth problem on Walker Branch Creek, which runs through town from North Oakwood Street up to U.S. Highway 183 North.

“It’s grown quite a bit because our grass here. Little bit of rain and I’m mowing twice a day, or twice a week,” says Breckenridge resident Lucky Fisher.

Fisher and his wife have lived opposite the creek since April. They say the area floods at the slightest rain, causing the weeds to hit record heights each time.

“Some of that stuff has grown up six, eight, maybe even 10 feet high,” says Breckenridge Mayor Bob Sims.

Given the residential location of the creek, it’s towering weeds have become not only an eyesore, but a danger. The tall grass around the banks conceals any snakes or predators that would otherwise be in the open.

“The city’s received a lot of complaints about it and I have too, but a shortage of manpower, that’s the thing that we’re fighting,” Sims said.

It’s a fight that Rising Star Landscaping company Rent-A-Ruminent just might be able to win.

“We don’t have the manpower to do it, but we’ve got the goat power now to do it,” says Sims.

Terry Carr of Rent-A-Ruminent went to the city commissioners meeting last week and proposed that his company be hired to clear the brush. Though his company does not use weed whackers or mowers, 150 goats do the job at a much cheaper cost.

“Like I said, I don’t know of anything that a goat will not eat, so they should be full all the time,” says Sims.

For an agreed-upon price of $17,652, the company will fence off a section of the creek at a time and let the goats roam.

“It would take about three weeks, he says, and they’ll take a strip at a time and there’ll always be somebody there 24/7 to look after the goats,” said Sims.

That price is almost $8,000 cheaper than any manned landscaping company, money that Mayor Sims says he’d like to see put towards street maintenance.

The city contract is all but signed, and Rent-A-Ruminent should begin clearing around late August/early September and be done within three weeks.

Mayor Sims has stated that if all goes well, they may become a regular sight around the creek when time comes to mow.

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