S’thorne steps up noxious weed, pine beetle ordinances
SILVERTHORNE – With environmental nuisances like noxious weeds and the mountain pine beetle showing no signs of slowing in the High Country, the Town of Silverthorne is getting tougher with residents on handling the problems.Residents who do not spray their noxious weeds or remove trees killed by the pine beetle have 10 days to take care of the problem following a verbal and a written notification from the town. In the past, residents had 30 days to handle the issues after the two warnings. Now, if the homeowner doesn’t respond in 10 days, the town has the authority kill the weeds or remove the trees if the homeowner doesn’t respond. The Town can charge the homeowner up to twice the cost of eradication, up to $300 per day.The town council agreed to the terms on Wednesday. Silverthorne resident Don Kennen encouraged the town to educate residents on the changes and how they can best treat the weeds. “Go around and communicate with these people that we identified were some weed problems last year rather than sending out the long arm of the law and irritating the people right off the bat,” Kennen told the council.That’s precisely what the town is planning. The town is hoping its public information efforts and a town-sponsored weed abatement program for businesses will reduce the need to enforce the ordinance. “We also needed some teeth in the ordinance down the line because there is that segment of the population that tends to kind of thumb their nose at you no matter what you do,” Mayor Dave Koop said.The education component will include appearances on community television and write-ups in the town newsletter and on its website.The town’s Economic Development Advisory Committee is working on an abatement program that would allow local businesses to pool together to hire one professional sprayer in order to reduce the cost. The town will also put together a list of licensed sprayers for homeowners.Homeowners with dead trees must fill out an application with the town’s community development department before cutting any trees so the town can be sure they aren’t removing healthy trees.Last year, the Silverthorne Police Department tracked 71 pine beetle tree and weed violations.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-4629, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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