Noxious weeds? It’ll cost you

Adam Spencer, The Triplicate

A proposal to charge the same rate for the disposal of noxious weeds as for garbage at the Del Norte County transfer station will be considered at today's board meeting of the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority.

At the 3:30 p.m. meeting in the Flynn Center, the board will also consider adopting the authority's 2012-2013 budget and approving an amended joint powers agreement.

It's currently free for transfer station customers to discard tansy ragwort, a noxious weed rampant in Del Norte that can be lethal to livestock, but someone's paying the cost.

In 2011, Hambro/Waste Solutions Group, which operates the transfer

station, provided $2,600 worth of free service to dispose of 29 tons of

tansy ragwort.

Hambro currently charges the brush rate ($46.99 per ton) for other

invasive species like English ivy, pampas grass, European beachgrass and

Scotch broom, but the authority's proposal would apply garbage rates

for those weeds too.

Garbage rates are $138.16 per ton - almost three times the rate for brush.

To avoid jeopardizing their finished soil product, Hambro treats

noxious weeds like garbage, hauling them to an Oregon landfill.

Del Norte agricultural commissioner Ken Smith said that tansy ragwort

can make farmers' livestock ill or even kill them, and noxious weeds

can crowd out farmers' crops and native plants.

Fewer people might be inclined to haul their tansy ragwort and

noxious weeds to the transfer station with a higher rate, Smith said.

The county's agricultural department also provides people with flea

beetles to combat tansy ragwort, and although there are certain spots

where the county can claim eradication, "it's an ongoing battle," Smith

said.

The authority board will also consider adopting a $2,990,732 budget

for fiscal year 2012-2013, a reduction of $156,169 from last year's

budget.

Most of the difference can be attributed to a $128,655 grant the

authority won't get this year that was used last year to pay for

implementing product stewardship programs. These programs have made it

cheaper for consumers to dispose of certain items, including carpet and

hazardous materials like hypodermic needles and paint.

The agency will see $23,000 in savings from the board's decision to eliminate stipends for commissioners.

The board will also consider amending the joint powers agreement

between Crescent City and Del Norte County that establishes the

authority.

The primary changes include a requirement that all authority

ordinances must be ratified by the City Council and the County Boards of

Supervisors before they are official and the board's public member must

be approved annually by the city and county.

Reach Adam Spencer at aspencer@triplicate.com .

14029992
The Del Norte Triplicate
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