County drastically increases fee to cut weedsArea landowners who have Stark County employees cut their weeds can look forward to a bill that’s more than double last year’s.
Area landowners who have Stark County employees cut their weeds can look forward to a bill that’s more than double last year’s.
Stark County Commission members voted to raise the cost of cutting weeds from $200 a mile to $500 a mile during a meeting at the Stark County Courthouse Tuesday.
The hike is an effort to discourage landowners from leaving the task up to the county, said Al Heiser, county road superintendent.
“What happens is we’ve got to run clear across the county, spend a day, and we charge them $200,” he said. “Well, it costs us more than that.”
People who own land next to county roads must have the weeds cut by Oct. 1 or the county cuts them, said Alice Schulz, Stark County Auditor. The weeds hold snow, which makes it more difficult for snow removal, she added.
The county employees and the equipment utilized for the job should be worth $80 to $90 an hour, Heiser said.
“I think we should just put it high enough so it really discourages people from having us do it for them,” Heiser said. “It’s disruptive because that man could be out maintaining roads and doing things we’re here for, rather then cutting someone’s weeds.”
The county charged $100 per mile for several years but last year doubled the price, Schulz said.
“Last year, it didn’t discourage it at all,” Heiser said.
In 2009, the county mowed 22 sections of land and charged $1,900, Schulz said.
In 2008 the county charged $1,050 and in 2007, the county charged $1,000, Schulz said.
“I’m just not sure $500 is enough,” Commissioner Jay Elkin said. “If you come out of Dickinson and go, say east of Richardton, you’re travel time alone back and forth is probably going to be four hours, which is a $400 shot right there.”
Commissioner Ken Zander suggested charging a minimum of $200 and adding on time and expenses but others thought that would get too complicated.
The commissioners unanimously agreed to increase the rate to $500 a mile.