[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Vernon 2-18-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-01. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Section 66.0407 of the Wisconsin Statutes mandates the destruction of all noxious weeds. The Weed Control Ordinance is designed to protect agricultural land, natural ecosystems, and public health.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The complete killing of weeds or the killing of weed plants above the surface of the ground by the use of chemicals, cutting, tillage, cropping system, pasturing livestock, or any or all of these in effective combination, at such time and in such manner as will effectually prevent such plants from maturing to the bloom or flower stage.
[Amended 3-15-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-03]
Every person is required by law to destroy all noxious weeds, as defined in this chapter, on lands within the Town which the person owns, occupies or controls. Failure to comply with this chapter shall subject persons who own, occupy or control land with noxious weeds that are not destroyed to a forfeiture in accordance with the provisions of § 295-5.
The Weed Control Ordinance shall be administered and enforced by the Weed Commissioner. The Weed Commissioner shall carefully investigate concerns regarding the existence of noxious weeds within the borders of the Town of Vernon which are brought to his or her attention. The Weed Commissioner may be accompanied by a designee.
The Weed Commissioner shall investigate the existence of noxious weeds in the Town of Vernon. If a person in the Town neglects to destroy noxious weeds as required under § 66.0407(3), Wis. Stats., the Weed Commissioner will send a notice when noxious weeds are observed, and such notice shall identify the property and the noxious weeds, shall demand that the weeds be destroyed within five days from the date of the notice, and shall advise that failure to correct the problem may result in the destruction of the noxious weeds by the Town, and all of the costs incurred by the Town shall be billed to the property owner as a special charge.
The Weed Commissioner is authorized to destroy noxious weeds by state statute. Pursuant to § 66.0517(3), Wis. Stats., "if a person in a district neglects to destroy noxious weeds as required under § 66.0407(3), the weed commissioner shall destroy, or have destroyed, the noxious weeds in the most economical manner. A weed commissioner may enter upon any lands that are not exempt under § 66.0407(5) and cut or otherwise destroy noxious weeds without being liable to an action for trespass or any other action for damages resulting from the entry and destruction, if reasonable care is exercised."
The Weed Commissioner is appointed by May 15 of each year by the Vernon Town Board.
The Weed Commissioner shall follow statutory requirements under § 66.0407, Wis. Stats.
The Weed Commissioner shall respond to complaints within a reasonable period of time.
A certified notice shall be sent to owners of properties containing noxious weeds. After five days, the property or properties shall be reinspected to determine if the noxious weeds are destroyed, and noted in the file. If the noxious weeds are still present, the Weed Commissioner shall send in a contracted cutter to cut the noxious weeds.
The Town Clerk and the Weed Commissioner will determine the tax key(s), and the Town Clerk will bill accordingly.
If the Town of Vernon is required to complete the destruction of the noxious weeds, actual costs will be charged to the property owner at a minimum of $100, but the cost could be more depending on the time and the amount of equipment needed to complete the work.
The property owner will be billed for the weed destruction. Any bills not paid by November 1 will be placed on the tax bill to each tract of land in the next tax roll, in a column headed "For the Destruction of Weeds," as a special charge on the lands upon which such weeds were destroyed, pursuant to § 66.0627 of the Wisconsin Statutes.