AN ORDINANCE COMPELLING THE CONTROL OF DUTCH ELM DISEASE
The City Council of Wabasso Ordains:
SECTION 1: FORESTRY.
- Position Created- The position of forester is hereby created within the city.
- Duties of forester- It is the duty of the forester to coordinate, under the direction and control of the council, all activities of the municipality relating to the control and prevention of Dutch Elm Disease, He shall recommend to the council the details of the Elm disease. He shall recommend to the council the details of a program for the control of Dutch Elm disease, and perform duties incident to such a program adopted by the Council.
SECTION 2: DUTCH ELM DISEASE PROGRAM.
- It is the intention of the Council to conduct a program of plant pest control pursuant to all powers of this municipal corporation including the authority granted by Minnesota Statutes a96a, Section 18.022 as amended.
- The program is directed specifically at the control and elimination of Dutch Elm Disease fungus and Elm bark beetles an is undertaken at the recommendation of the Commissioner of Agriculture.
SECTION 3: NUISANCES DECLARED.
- The following things are public nuisances whenever they may be found within the city.
a. Any living or standing Elm tree or part thereof infected to any degree with the Dutch Elm fungus Coratocystis Ulm, (Bugaman) Moreau or which harbors any of the Elm bark beetles, Scolytus Multistriatus (Eichh), or Hylungopinus Ruipes. (Marsh)
b. Any dead Elm tree or part thereof, including legs, branches, stumps, firewood or other material from which the bark has not been removed and burned or sprayed with an effective Elm bark beetle insecticide.
- Abatement-It is unlawful for any person to permit any public nuisance as defined in Subdivision 1 to remain on any premises owned or controlled by him within the city. Such nuisances may be abated in the manner prescribed in this code.
SECTION 4: INSPECTION AND INVESTIGATION.
- Annual Inspection-the forester shall inspect all premises within the City as often as practicable to determine whether any condition as described in Section 3 of this code exists thereon. He shall investigate all reported incidents of infestation by Dutch Elm fungus or Elm bark beetle.
- Entry on Private Premises- The forester or his authorized agents may enter upon private premises at any reasonable time for the purpose of carrying out any for the duties assigned him under this code.
- Diagnosis- the forester shall, upon finding conditions indicating Dutch Elm infestation, immediately send appropriate specimens or samples to the Commissioner of Agriculture for analysis or take such other steps for diagnosis as may be recommended by the Commissioner. Except as provided in section 6 no action to remove infected trees or wood shall be taken until positive diagnosis of the disease has been made.
SECTION 5: ABATEMENT OF DUTCH ELM DISEASE NUISANCES.
In abating the nuisances defined in Section 3, the forester shall cause the infected tree or wood to be sprayed, removed, burned or likewise effectively treated so as to destroy and prevent as fully as possible the spread of Elm disease fungus and Elm bark beetles. Such abatement procedures shall be carried out in accordance with current technical and expert opinions and plans as may be designated by the Commissioner of Agriculture.
SECTION 6: PROCEDURE FOR REMOVAL OF INFECTED TREES AND WOOD.
1.Whenever the forester finds reasonable certainty that the infestation defined in Section 3 exists in any tree or wood in any public or private place in the city he shall proceed as follows;
a. The forester shall notify the owner of the premises or the area controlled by him (including boulevards) that a tree suffering from Dutch Elm disease has been identified on his property, and that it shall be the responsibility of this person to remove the diseased tree within 20 days at his own expense.
b. If the forester finds that the danger of infestation of other Elm trees is not imminent because of Elm dormancy, he shall make a report of his findings to the council which shall proceed by (1) sending a notice by Certified Mail that a diseased tree has been identified on his property and that the owner is given twenty days in which to remove it or (2) that the council will abate the tree as a nuisance as declared in Section 3, with costs to be billed by the City to the person responsible along with a City Administrative fee as provided for under Minnesota Statutes Ch. 429.
c. If the forester finds that danger of infestation of other Elm trees is imminent, he shall notify the property owner by certified Mail that the nuisance must be abated with a specified time. The forester shall immediately report such action to the council, and after the expiration of this time specified he may initiate abatement proceedings.
- Upon receipt of the foresters report, the council shall by resolution ordinance abated. Before action is taken the council shall notify the person responsible that such a resolution is under consideration. The notice shall state the time and place of the meeting, the properties affected, action being proposed and estimated costs of abatement and proposed basis of assessment , if any or costs. At such hearing the council shall hear property owners with reference to the scope and desirability of the proposed resolution. The council following this procedure shall thereafter adopt a resolution providing for the doing of the work by day labor or by contract.
- The forester shall keep a record of the costs of abatements done under this section and shall report monthly to the City Clerk all work done for which assessments are to be made stating and certifying the description of the land, lots, parcels involved and the amount chargeable to each.
- On or before October 1 of each year the clerk shall list the total unpaid charges for each abatement against each separate lot or parcel to which they are attributable under this code. The council may then spread the charges or any portion thereof against the property involved as a special assessment, under Minnesota Statutes Sec 429.101 and other pertinent statutes, for certification to the county auditor and collection the following year along with current taxes.
SECTION 7: SPRAYING ELM TREES.
Whenever the forester determines that any Elm Tree or Elm wood within the city is infected with Dutch Elm fungus, the forester may spray or treat all nearby high value Elm trees, with an effective Elm bark beetle destroying concentrate or fungicide or both. Activities authorized by this section shall be conducted in accordance with technical and expert opinions and plans of the commissioner of Agriculture and under the supervision of the Commissioner and his agents whenever possible. Subd. 2 of Section 6 apply to spraying and treatment operations conducted under this section.
SECTION 8: TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE OF ELM WOOD PROHIBITED.
No person shall store or transport for storage within the City any bark-bearing Elm wood without having obtained a permit from the forester. The forester shall grant such permits only when the purposes of the code will be served thereby.
SECTION 9: INTERFERENCE PROHIBITED.
No person shall prevent, delay or interfere with the forester or his agents while they are engaged in the performance of duties imposed by this code.
SECTION 10: PENALTY.
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of Sections 8 and 9 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
SECTION 11: EFFECTIVE DATE.
This ordinance shall take effect from and after its adoption and publication.
Passed and adopted this 8th day of December 1975.
John J. Maurer, Mayor
Attest: Marilyn Davis, City Clerk