July 8, 2015

Commission hears noxious weed and road concerns

By Annette Tait
This season’s growing conditions have contributed to more than just agricultural crops. County Extension Agent Rick Schmidt appeared on behalf of the Oliver County Weed Board at the Oliver County Commission at its July meeting to report that a higher level of noxious weed complaint letters have been received this year. The weed board will work to resolve the complaints, but noted that the county commission may be asked to take action as a last resort.
“Spurge has had a wonderful year because of the moisture,” Schmidt told the commission, noting that state law requires every person to do “all things necessary and proper” to control the spread of noxious weeds.  Along with leafy spurge, the state includes Absinth wormwood, Canada thistle, diffuse knapweed, musk thistle, purple loosestrife, Russian knapweed, spotted knapweed, yellow toadflax, Dalmatian toadflax, and saltcedar on its noxious weeds list.
Schmidt also reported that a new four-wheeler was purchased for the weed board, with a grant from Department of Agriculture covering $5,000 of the total $8,000 cost. If the existing four-wheeler is sold, Schmidt expects the proceeds will cover the remaining cost, leaving essentially no cost for new four-wheeler. The weed board is also purchasing a new camera to document weed complaints.
In his report to the commissioners, Road Superintendent Kyle Miller noted he had discussed potential gravel truck weight issues with BNI Coal related to a repaving project BNI plans for its parking lot. Miller spoke with BNI regarding weight limits and will monitor gravel truck traffic, as excess weight will damage the asphalt road leading into BNI’s facilities.
Also discussed was progress on installation of 25 mph speed limit and “children playing” signs at Hensler and replacement of worn signs south of Hannover. Installation is in progress, pending delivery of additional signs.

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