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North Hempstead seeks to hire bamboo investigator

North Hempstead Town Hall in Manhasset is shown

North Hempstead Town Hall in Manhasset is shown Sept. 1, 2015. Credit: Newsday / William Perlman

For hire in North Hempstead Town: A bamboo investigator.

North Hempstead will relaunch its search for a consultant to target illegal bamboo after no one responded to the town’s search over the summer.

The town has plans to reissue a request for proposals seeking a company or individual to help find bamboo on public or private properties in North Hempstead and issue a report on its findings, according to documents posted by the town in July. The consultant would identify the species of the bamboo and the source of its growth, according to the request.

The town last year banned the planting of the invasive species. Fines for planting bamboo in North Hempstead range from $100 to $500 for each violation, according to the town code.

The town’s code enforcement department issued the initial request for proposals on July 22 “to help them with enforcement,” said town spokeswoman Carole Trottere. None responded by the Aug. 29 deadline. Trottere said she did not know when the bid would be reissued.

“To date we have not ticketed or issued any violations for bamboo,” Trottere said. “We issued the RFP to have bamboo expertise available to us, just like we have tree experts on contract.”

Trottere declined to comment further.

The firm would work with North Hempstead staff “on an on-call basis as requested by the Commissioner of Public Safety or his designee,” according to the request for proposals. The consultant would be required to accompany town employees on inspections and prepare reports on the bamboo to the town’s public safety commissioner.

A growing number of Long Island municipalities have banned the invasive species in recent years, including the towns of Hempstead and Babylon. The issue has riled a number of communities, causing neighborly disputes over the bamboo shoots, which can grow tall and tower over fences and encroach into bordering backyards.

North Hempstead would be the only Nassau County town to have a bamboo consultant on-call. The Town of Hempstead does not have any contracts with consultants to investigate its spread, while Town of Oyster Bay spokeswoman Marta Kane said that town is considering regulating the invasive species.

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