Noxious weeds remained largely controlled in Adams County during 2019.
Members of the Adams County Board of Supervisors voted 7-0 at their regular meeting Tuesday to approve the annual county weeds report from weed superintendent Eric Walston.
He said Adams County only has four of the 12 Nebraska noxious weeds, musk thistle being the primary one.
Walston said the county had some issues with phragmites in Prairie Lake due to flooding there.
“It was full, it’s still full,” he said. “We’ve got some phragmites out in the middle of it we can’t reach until it goes back down.”
He is working with the Little Blue Natural Resources District to schedule spraying there in the spring.
Walston reported the Twin Valley Weed Management Area found no phragmites on the Little Blue River. The river saw high levels of running water during the summer, which minimized the chance for phragmites to grow there.
He’s noticed an increase of leafy spurge and Canada thistle on U.S. highways 281 and 6 due to those noxious weeds “blowing off the hay truck all the way from where it came to where it went.”
He informed the Nebraska Department of Transportation, which is responsible for weed control along highways, of the location of the infestations.
When it comes to federal highways, Walston assists the state with weed control.
An inspector from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture did five weed inspections in Adams County during the year — three of which were random and two were complaint driven.
Three of those five inspections found no weeds.
One, near Hastings College, was treated.
“One of them we’re addressing with aerial spraying,” Walston said. “It’s not complete yet, but it’s in the works.”
Walston is working with that particular landowner, so the landowner will treat the noxious weeds himself rather than the county issuing a formal notice for spraying.
“I don’t want to fine anybody if we don’t have to,” he said. “I think he’s going to work with us this spring. If he does it himself he will save himself some money.”
Also during the meeting, the supervisors didn’t take action but affirmed their decision of June 18 to require nearly all county employees to go through the security screening process at the south entrance of the Adams County Courthouse.
The board discussed the policy Tuesday after board chairman Eldon Orthmann recently allowed state auditors to enter the building without going through security.
“His response was he would just take that chance,” Scott Thomsen, chairman of the county’s security committee, said about Orthmann’s response when Thomsen asked him about his decision. “I guess I was kind of confused by that. Security and taking a risk, they don’t quite go together. It just strikes me as strange how a board decision can be overturned so easily.”
Certain employees of the sheriff and county attorney offices, as well as judges, have dispensation and are allowed to use the building’s east entrance where there is no security.
“I will tell you when we go through the front door we do go through security,” Deputy County Attorney David Bergin said.
Orthmann said he believed the state auditors must be trustworthy to have their jobs.
“The judges and attorneys do not go through security, so I felt it was OK to let these people go through,” he said.
Supervisor Dale Curtis said it isn’t a selective choice who can and can’t bypass security and the board should stick with the policy it approved.
“I don’t care how trustworthy you are, just one person could come in and put a weapon in a bathroom or somewhere and come in afterwards,” he said. “That’s what the public wants protection for.”
In other business, the supervisors:
Unanimously approved, as the Board of Equalization, granting permission for Wash
- ington National to offer insurance products to Adams County employees.
- Unanimously approved tax list corrections as the Board of Equalization.
- Unanimously approved, as the Board of Equalization, 311 motor vehicle exemption renewals from 39 entities.
- Unanimously approved, as the Board of Equalization, rejecting a settlement offer from Omaha attorney David Skalka in a Tax Equalization Review Commission valuation case for a property owned by Dennis Tebbe.