City of Sebastian Looking to Maintain Canals Amid Moratorium

Canal near Hardee Park in Sebastian, Florida.
Canal near Hardee Park in Sebastian, Florida.

Ever since the City of Sebastian stopped maintaining the canals by ending all spraying, there has been mass growth, and residents have complained about it.

“For some time now, ever since the moratorium on spraying, I’m assuming, there has been a mass of growth on top of the canal,” Sebastian resident Andrea Horlick told Sebastian Daily.

Horlick, who lives on the canal near Hardee Park, says there is massive growth each day that drifts back and forth with the wind direction.

The moratorium was spearheaded by Council members Damien Gilliams, Pamela Parris, and Charles Mauti. The ban was placed without offering any alternative solutions to maintain the canal waterways.

“This is exactly what can be expected when you decide to stop maintaining our waterways, based on fear, without having a plan. This is just the start, and you can expect most of our canals to look similar if we don’t start maintaining them. The cost to get them back in shape will be great, and likely more intrusive to the environment than utilizing best management practices, as was the previous policy,” Councilman Jim Hill told Sebastian Daily.

In January, Friendship Park in Sebastian had to close due to a fire ant infestation. Residents complained that their children were bitten by ants while using the parks. As a result, the City Council agreed to spot-treat the fire ants with a product called Advion.

Sebastian Daily reached out to Councilman Damien Gilliams for comment about the canals. However, he wanted to discuss issues such as attacking the previous city council on the sugar sand in the cemetery and other allegations about the mayor and city manager.

Furthermore, Gilliams stated, “If you don’t put the whole quote in, do not call back ever again for anymore quotes.”

Canal near Hardee Park in Sebastian, Florida.
Canal near Hardee Park in Sebastian, Florida.
Canal near Hardee Park in Sebastian, Florida.
Canal near Hardee Park in Sebastian, Florida.

We then reached out to City Manager Paul Carisle about the problems with the canals.

“We’re looking into a mechanical harvester,” Carisle told Sebastian Daily

Carisle said he is looking into a machine that could pull the weeds and clear the canals. A mechanical harvester is an expensive alternative to spraying the canals. However, with the current moratorium passed by the city council, the canals still need to be maintained.

“There is little if any flow to this canal system, which makes it perfect for this to happen,” Mayor Ed Dodd told Sebastian Daily.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland and raised in Jupiter, Florida. Andy has been a radio & TV personality since the 1980s. He has worked for WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. After spending 7 years in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1990s, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2000. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.