A weed Carbondale doesn’t love | PostIndependent.com

A weed Carbondale doesn’t love

Carbondale is working to nip a new weed problem in the bud but hasn’t decided whether to pluck `em, nuke `em, or do something in between.In two years, yellow toadflax has established a sizable foothold on the Delaney Property.”It’s mind boggling the destruction it can do,” Carbondale Public Works Director Larry Ballenger told the Board of Trustees Tuesday night.Garfield County vegetation management director Steve Anthony told the trustees, “Get it early and you’ll save yourself and your neighbors.”Yellow toadflax is related to Indian paintbrush, Anthony said. Its pale flowers are tiny and bell shaped. The stems grow straight up and can reach knee high in a year or two. Yellow toadflax is considered a noxious weed in Colorado. It spreads by seeds or roots and has invaded private and town-owned property in Carbondale for the past few years.”It’s one of the most noxious weeds we’ll see in Colorado,” Ballenger said.Yellow toadflax was first found on the 33-acre Delaney Property two years ago, Trustee David Rippe said Tuesday night. This year, the infested area is about 30 feet by 30 feet.”When the cattle left, they (the flowers) took off,” Rippe explained.Much of Tuesday night’s discussion revolved around whether to use herbicides to kill the flax, to pick it or mow it, or to use biological controls such as imported insects.”I’d like to see us use herbicides as a last resort,” said Trustee Russ Criswell. “Weed-eat it, dig it.”Criswell estimated it would take five people a half day to pull the weeds by hand. Mayor Michael Hassig suggested that work release prisoners from Garfield County might do the job.Anthony was less dismissive of herbicides.”Do what you have to do. Don’t let it go to seed,” Anthony warned.In the end, the trustees instructed Ballenger and Anthony to formulate a weed management plan for the Delaney Property and return at a later date.”This will probably lead to a Carbondale noxious weed map,” Ballenger told the trustees.In other action, Carbondale trustees put replacement housing back on the table Tuesday.Last year the trustees discussed whether to require developers to create new housing when existing housing is replaced by commercial development or other projects.A replacement housing ordinance stalled at the planning and zoning commission several months ago when the board couldn’t agree on what percentage replacement to require. Proposals ranged from 25 to 100 percent replacement.The trustees will continue discussing replacement housing in the weeks to come.In other business,-Trustees moved forward with creating an affordable housing advisory board, and asked assistant town manager Bentley Henderson to research the specifics.-Trustees heard a funding request from Catholic Charities, but delayed a decision until the trustees look at the town’s quarterly budget report.Catholic Charities Western Slope director Tom Ziemann said his group wants to fill the void in the Latino community that opened when Asistencia Para Latinos folded. Trustees were generally receptive to the funding request, and indicated they will consider donating $1,000 to $1,500 per year.

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