Musk thistle outbreak is worst in years

Musk thistles in Marion County are a problem just like they are in other parts of the state.

Marion County Noxious Weed Director Rollin Schmidt reported Monday to Marion County Commission that some landowners have been notified that they have the noxious weed on their property. Some also have been given a legal notice to remove the thistle or the county will and the landowners will be billed.

"This is the worst that I've ever seen," Schmidt said. Prosecuting landowners with the pesky weed is an option but it "doesn't get the thistles sprayed."

Most cases have been reported as complaints.

Schmidt was using some inmates from the county jail to chop out the thistles.

Schmidt said there have been problems with dumping large trailers by either using a skid steer loader or transfer station personnel and maybe a fee needed to be charged for those services.

With numerous roofing companies and individuals doing roof and remodeling work, more trailers are coming into the station that have to be emptied by hand. Most commercial contractors have tipping beds but individuals and smaller companies do not.

The problems are those trailers that have 1,000 pounds or more of refuse which takes about 30 minutes to unload.

Schmidt asked the commission to consider a $50 charge if the skid steer is used or a $10-$20 minimum unloading fee if done by hand. This recommended charge would only be for commercial refuse not household trash.

With the additional unloading of commercial and demolition waste, there remains a problem of overloading the tipping floor and unloading the full trailers.

Commissioner Dan Holub said he would like for Schmidt to contact Hamm Quarry/Rolling Meadows Landfill in Topeka and try to get the county released from the contract so trash can be hauled to Salina landfill instead.

County road and bridge personnel had taken a trailer-load of refuse this past week with a road and bridge tractor. An option, Schmidt said, would be to continue to do that so there would be four loads taken per day instead of three.

Another option, Schmidt said, would be to continue having Robinson Trucking haul three loads per day to Topeka and the county take one load per day to Salina.