Contract in the works for county to control weedsPesky weeds within the city of Dickinson may now be controlled by the Stark County Weed Board, as approved during a City Commission meeting at City Hall, Monday evening.
Pesky weeds within the city of Dickinson may now be controlled by the Stark County Weed Board, as approved during a City Commission meeting at City Hall, Monday evening.
From April 1 through Nov. 31, with a price tag of $50,000, the Stark County Weed Board would eradicate and manage all weeds within the city of Dickinson and all property either owned or maintained by the city, with the exception of cemeteries.
“Working through this agreement, I think we’ve come up with an agreement that’s both beneficial to the county and to the city,” said City Public Works Manager Skip Rapp during Monday’s meeting. “I think this is an excellent agreement and an excellent example of cooperation between multiple governments.”
The agreement will be voted on by the Stark County Weed Control Board during their meeting at 11 a.m. on March 30 at the Stark County Extension Office in Dickinson.
With the joint venture, the city would cut three seasonal positions that normally are filled during the summer, saving about $12,000.
“It’s going to free up our full-time staff to be able to do more activities within the cemeteries and also in vector control,” Rapp said. “One of the reasons we elected to exempt the city cemeteries out of that is because we have a number of residents in town, too, who have loved ones buried in the cemeteries and they do maintain their own lots.”
Starting out, Stark County would use some city equipment.
“If this agreement works out and we find that it is beneficial to both the city and to the county, they would probably look at purchasing equipment they are currently using this year,” Rapp said.
The city will maintain one piece of spraying equipment just in case of extenuating circumstances.
Initially, it was suggested to charge an hourly rate, but Stark County responded with a lump-sum amount of $50,000.
“That amount is actually less than what we would’ve done probably on an hourly basis, so I think with them presenting that it’s more advantageous for us to do this than if we had looked at the hourly basis,” Rapp said.
The joint venture with the county is similar to how area vector control is operated.
“In my opinion, we need to do as many joint venture efforts with the county as we can,” said City Commissioner Gene Jackson. “I think this is a good thing.”
With spring around the corner, weeds are not the only foliage undergoing ordinance changes.
With a tree removal resolution approved by the City Commission at Monday’s meeting, residents can now have the city remove trees from property with the costs assessed directly back to the property, said City Attorney Matt Kolling.
“This is a voluntary program that allows people to have the city assess it back to their property,” Kolling said.
If tree removal were an involuntary move, the city generally would have to go through a hearing process.
“This resolution is just intended to short circuit that process when somebody, when a property owner wants the city to come on and assess the cost of the property.”