1030:0

City Code: 1030:0

Section 1030 - Dutch Elm Disease

Section 1030:00. Declaration of Policy. The Council has determined that the health of the elm trees within the municipal corporate limits is threatened by a fatal disease known as Dutch Elm Disease. It has further determined that the loss of elm trees growing upon public and private property would substantially depreciate the value of property within this municipality and impair the safety, good order, general welfare and convenience of the public. It is declared to be the intention of the Council that this ordinance is enacted for that purpose.

Section 1030:05. Forester; Position Created. The position of Forester is hereby created within the Park and Recreation Department of this municipality.

Section 1030:10. 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 a program for the control of Dutch elm disease, and perform the duties incident to such a program adopted by the Council.

Section 1030:15. Dutch Elm Disease Program. It is the intention of the Council to conduct a program of plant pest control pursuant to the authority granted by Minnesota Statutes 1961, Section 18.022. This program is directed specifically at the control and elimination of Dutch elm disease fungus and elm bark beetles and is undertaken at the recommendation of the Commissioner of Agriculture. The Forester shall act as coordinator between the Commissioner of Agriculture and the Council in the conduct of this program.

Section 1030:20. Dutch Elm Nuisance Declared.

Subd. 1. The things set forth in the subdivisions which follow are hereby declared to be Dutch elm infestation and public nuisances whenever they may be found within the corporate limits of this municipality.

Subd. 2. Any living or standing elm tree or part thereof infected to any degree with the Dutch elm disease fungus Ceratocystis Ulmi (Buisman) Moreau or which harbors any of the elm bark beetles Scolytus Multistriatus (Eichh.) or Hylurgopinus Rufipes (Marsh).

Subd. 3. Any dead elm tree or part thereof, including logs, branches, stumps, firewood or other elm material from which the bark has not been removed and burned or sprayed with an effective elm bark beetle insecticide.

Section 1030:25. Abatement. No person shall permit any public nuisance as defined in Section 1030:20 to remain on any premises owned or controlled by him. Such nuisances may be abated in the manner prescribed by this ordinance.

Section 1030:30. Inspection and Investigation.

Subd. 1. Annual Inspection. The Forester shall inspect all premises and places within the corporate limits of this municipality as practicable to determine whether any condition prohibited by this ordinance exists thereon. He shall investigate all reported incidents of infestation by Dutch elm fungus or elm bark beetles.

Section 1030:30, Subd. 2

Subd. 2. Entry on Private Premises. The Forester or his duly authorized agents may enter upon private premises at any reasonable time for the purpose of carrying out any of the duties assigned him.

Subd. 3. 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 Sections 1030:40 and 1030:45, no action to remove infected trees or wood shall be taken until positive diagnosis of the disease has been made.

Section 1030:35. Abatement of Dutch Elm Disease Nuisance. In abating the Dutch elm nuisances, the Forester shall cause the infected tree or wood to be sprayed, removed, burned or otherwise effectively treated so as to destroy and prevent as fully as possible the spread of Dutch 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 1030:40. Procedure for Removal of Infected Trees and Wood.

Subd. 1. Whenever the Forester finds with reasonable certainty that Dutch elm infestation exists in any tree or wood within a public way or boulevard in this municipality, he shall proceed as set forth in the subdivisions which follow.

Subd. 2. If the Forester finds that the danger of infestation of other elm trees is not imminent because of elm dormancy, he shall make a written report of his findings to the Council which shall proceed by (1) abating the nuisance as a public improvement under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 429, or (2) abating the nuisance as provided in Subd. 5 of this section.

Subd. 3. If the Forester finds that danger of infestation of other elm trees is imminent, he shall notify the abutting property owner by certified mail that the nuisance will be abated within a specified time, not less than five (5) days from the date of mailing of such notice. The Forester shall immediately report such action to the Council, and after the expiration of the time limited by the notice he may abate the nuisance.

Subd. 4. If the Forester finds with reasonable certainty that immediate action is required to prevent the spread of the disease, he may proceed to abate the nuisance forthwith. He shall report such action immediately to the Council and to the abutting property owner or to the owner of the property where the nuisance is located.

Subd. 5. Upon receipt of the notice required by this section, the Council, by resolution, shall, by certified mail, notify the abutting property owner that the nuisance will be abated by this municipality within a specified time, not less than ten (10) days, unless the property owner abates it within that time. The Council may also publish such notice. The cost of abatement of such nuisances will be borne by this municipality.

Section 1030:45

Section 1030:45. Abatement of Dutch Elm Nuisances on Private Property.

Subd. 1. Whenever the Forester finds with reasonable certainty that Dutch elm infestation exists in any tree or wood located on private property outside the public way, in this municipality, he shall proceed as set forth in the subdivisions which follow.

Subd. 2. If the Forester finds that the danger of infestation of other elm trees is not imminent because of elm dormancy, he shall make a written report of his findings to the Council, which shall then proceed to abate the nuisance as provided in Subd. 5.

Subd. 3. If the Forester finds that the danger of infestation of other elms is imminent, he shall notify the owner of the property on which the nuisance is found by certified mail that the nuisance must be abated within a specified time not less than five (5) days from the date of mailing such notice. The Forester shall immediately report such action to the Council and after the expiration of the time limited by the notice he may abate the nuisance.

Subd. 4. If the Forester finds with reasonable certainty that immediate action is required to prevent the spread of the disease, he may proceed to abate the nuisance forthwith. He shall report such action immediately to the Council and to the abutting property owner or to the owner of the property where the nuisance is located.

Subd. 5. Upon receipt of the Forester's report required by this section, the Council shall, by resolution, order the nuisance abated. Before action is taken on such resolution, the Council shall publish notice of its intention to meet to consider taking action to abate the nuisance. This notice shall be mailed to affected property owners and published once no less than one (1) week prior to such meeting. The notice shall state the time and place of the meeting, the streets affection, action proposed, the estimated cost of the abatement, and the proposed basis of assessment, if any, of costs. At such hearing or adjournment thereof, the Council shall hear property owners with reference to the scope and desirability of the proposed project. The Council shall thereafter adopt a resolution confirming the original resolution with such modification as it considers desirable and provide for the doing of the work by day labor or by contract.

Subd. 6. The Forester shall keep a record of the costs of abatement done under this section and shall report monthly to the Clerk-Treasurer, or other appropriate officer, 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.

Subd. 7. On or before September 1 of each year, the Clerk-Treasurer shall list the total unpaid charges for each abatement against each separate lot or parcel to which they are attributable under this ordinance. The Council may then spread the charges or any portion thereof against the property involved as a special assessment under Minnesota Statutes, Section 429.101, and other pertinent statutes for certification to the County Auditor and collection the following year along with current taxes.

Section 1030:50

Section 1030:50. Spraying Elm Trees.

Subd. 1. Whenever the Forester determines that any elm tree or elm wood within the corporate limits of this municipality is infected with Dutch elm fungus, he may spray all nearby high value elm trees with an effective elm bark beetle destroying concentrate. Spraying 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. The notice provisions of Sections 1030:30 and 1030:45 apply to spraying operations conducted under this section.

Section 1030:55. Transporting Elm Wood Prohibited. It is unlawful for any person to transport within the corporate limits of this municipality any bark-bearing elm wood without having obtained a permit from the Forester. The Forester shall grant such permits only when the purposes of this ordinance will be served thereby.

Section 1030:60. 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 ordinance.

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