Mayor shepherds in sheep to mow cemetery lawns

By Matt Porter

July 2, 2013 Updated Jul 2, 2013 at 11:36 PM EST

Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Owego Mayor Kevin Millar can now add "shepherd" to his job description.

The mayor recruited three little lambs to cut the grass at Evergreen Cemetery, a village-owned property, as an experiment to see if the sheep can save on gas guzzling lawnmowers.

"I put something on Facebook, 'Does anyone have any sheep to loan us?' And somebody did," Millar said.

For a week, the sheep have been trimming down grass on the hillside with good results and feedback.

"There have been some concerns," he said, "But I'd say 80 to 90 percent of the comments are favorable."

The sheep are kept in a completely fenced in pen to protect them from predators at night.

An adult sheep can eat up to 500 square feet of grass each day.

Millar is still working out how much his sheep are eating each day.

And as for the mess sheep leave behind, even that gets used.

"I'm the manager of the Owego Community Garden and I've taken it to the compost pile," he said.

City worker Greg Goble said he isn't worried about the sheep taking his job.

"It's been exciting, a lot of traffic, a lot of buzz," Goble said. "It's good for the community and good for the environment."

In fact, if it works, they will give humans more time to make repairs to the dilapidated graveyard.

Millar said the goal is all about saving money.

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