Invasive problems | News, Sports, Jobs

Travis Johnson, left, and Ward County Commissioners John Fjeldahl and Jim Rostad look over a property in Johnson’s neighborhood that is covered with a weed believed to be common tansy, on Tuesday.

A vacant property, overgrown with weeds, in northwest Minot may finally get some attention, thanks to a neighbor’s persistence.

Members of the Ward County Commission who visited the property just south of Erik Ramstad Middle School on Tuesday described it as a public nuisance.

The property falls solidly within Minot city limits but has never been annexed. Part of the Ballantyne Addition, there are 9.44 acres of undeveloped, vacant land zoned for agriculture between 30th and 32nd Avenues. The vacant land on the north side of 32nd Avenue, south of Ramstad, belongs to Minot Public School.

The property is covered with a yellow-flowered weed that neighbor Travis Johnson said appears to be common tansy, which is not state-listed as noxious but is considered invasive.

The weed is capable of growing to six feet tall. The plant contains alkaloids that can be toxic to humans and animals. Illnesses in humans have occurred after hand-pulling, according to a North Dakota State University weed guide.

“It’s a perennial so it never goes away,” Johnson said, adding that the woody plant is a fire hazard.

“Once it dies, it’s a tinderbox,” he said.

There are other weeds, some noxious, within the property, along with a collection of garbage, including construction debris, Johnson said.

“This is a mess, and I don’t want it anymore,” he told commissioners.

He said he has complained to authorities for years without resolution. Learning the property is within Ward County’s jurisdiction, he began pressing Commission Chairman Jim Rostad about cleanup. Rostad arranged for commissioners to visit the property Tuesday.

Rostad indicated the commission would be taking up the matter of the unempt land at a future meeting. He said he hopes the county can connect with the landowner and determine what it will take to get the property cleaned up.

The acreage is owned by the Ballantyne family, whose members live out of state.

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