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Dunn County policy says gravel pits need inspected

MANNING -- County commissioners here were reminded Tuesday that all gravel and scoria pits in Dunn County must be checked for weeds before operation is allowed.

"Dunn County has a policy to check gravel pits before they open, but I found one in Halliday that was open but had not been inspected like your policy says they have to be," Diane Allmendinger, Dunn/Stark county weed control officer, told the commission at its meeting at the Dunn County Courthouse in Manning.

The way the county's policy is written, Allmendinger said, she can't begin pit inspections until it warms up. That's likely in May.

By waiting, she said she will be able to better spot weed growth.

Allmendinger said the public is required to obtain county zoning approval prior to moving rocks, gravel or the like.

"People hauling gravel from outside of the county also need to be notified that they can't move things into the county without prior approval," she said.

Dunn County is in dire need of gravel and the inspections were accidently forgotten in the process of finding new pits, Commissioner Donna Scott said.

The commissioners agreed to get any new pits inspected before they operate.

Dunn County Planning and Zoning Administrator Sandy Rohde said the goal is to have anyone wanting to open a pit in the county submit information about its location and proof that it has been inspected by the weed control officer before the pit operate.

Allmendinger said both Stark and Mercer counties were given Dunn County's policy for opening pits, which includes rules like ensuring there are no artifacts in the area and that a pit must be at least 500 feet from the nearest residence.

Concerns about weeds were the reason a sand pit in Gladstone proposed by Knife River Corp.-North Central in Bismarck was unanimously denied Tuesday by the Stark County Commission at its meeting at the county courthouse in Dickinson.

The pit would have been located in 30 acres of a 135-acre tract of land north of 40th Street on the east side of the Enchanted Highway in Gladstone -- an area known for its leafy spurge, which is one of 11 weeds on North Dakota's noxious weed list.