By Jessica Mathews /

Hamburg Township is lending support toward the potential county purchase of a mechanical aquatic weed harvester for use on the Huron River and various lakes.

The Livingston County Drain Commissioner’s Office is considering the purchase of a weed harvester using federal pandemic-related funding. Hamburg Township has contracted annually with private providers for the services since 2005 at a cost between $9,000 and $12,500 per year.

The Board of Trustees met Tuesday night and discussed the prospect. It was stated the township, in general, has four to five days of harvesting work along the Huron River. Further at a recent meeting, the board authorized starting up focus group meetings for the possibility of harvesting on Strawberry and Zukey Lakes.

Supervisor Pat Hohl said the Drain Commissioner was simply looking for some support with regard to going to the Board of Commissioner and requesting funding for the harvester. He said the main problem for the township with weed harvesters is getting them when they need them as they’re typically scheduled weeks out and they don’t know when weeds will pop up in the river. Hohl added that the numbers quoted for the county seemed to be more favorable than what the township has gotten with private contractors and availability would be more flexible.

Hohl noted that the Drain Commissioner’s office has five lakes it currently harvests weeds on now, which is done under the same mechanism as the township – being private contracts with harvesters.

Trustee Bill Hahn commented that he was in support of doing whatever it takes to encourage the purchase and make it happen and others agreed.

The board unanimously approved a motion expressing strong support for the purchase of the weed harvester by the Drain Commissioner to facilitate more timely and economic harvesting of weeds in the Huron River and lakes of the township. The statement of support will be forwarded to the Drain Commissioner’s office.

Hohl said he anticipates a proposal will be brought back from the Office with regard to what the township would be willing to pay for the services.