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Thursday, February 25, 2010

VTA extends sheep grazing contract

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The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority has agreed to a one-year contract extension that will allow sheep and goats to continue providing weed abatement services at Cerone Operating Division in North San Jose, Calif.


 "In addition to being both less expensive and less labor intensive than mowing with tractors, the use of grazing animals has important environmental benefits," said Michael T. Burns, VTA General Manager.

There was an estimated contract savings of $8,500. The environmental benefits include improved water absorption and nutrient flow, decreased lawn mower emissions, and reduced use of pesticides. In addition, grazing rather than mowing open fields is less disruptive to bird and animal populations living in the area.

The sheep and goats can be seen at VTA's Cerone Operating Division, located at the southeast corner of Zanker Road and State Route 237 in north San Jose. The facility includes approximately 60 acres of open land requiring ongoing weed abatement work. The service provider rotates in both sheep and goats, with anywhere from 50 to 1,000 animals on site at any one time.

This is a $20,000 contract.

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