- collection of costs
(1)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(a)The county pest inspector shall have the right to enter upon any public or private property during reasonable business hours to inspect for pest infestations or infection and ensure compliance with the requirements of this article and any local requirements when at least one of the following has occurred:
(I)The landowner or occupant has requested an inspection;
(II)A neighboring landowner or occupant has reported a suspected pest infestation or infection and requested an inspection; or
(III)An authorized agent of the county in which the property is situated has made a visual observation from a public right-of-way or area and has reason to believe that a pest infestation or infection exists.
(b)No entry upon any property shall be permitted until the landowner or occupant has been sent a notification by certified mail to the landowner’s or occupant’s last-known address that such entry is pending. When possible, inspections shall be scheduled and conducted with the concurrence of the landowner or occupant.
(c)If, after receiving notice that an inspection is pending, the landowner or occupant denies access to the county pest inspector, the board of county commissioners may seek an inspection warrant issued by a municipal, county, or district court having jurisdiction over the land. The court shall issue an inspection warrant upon presentation by the board of county commissioners, through its agent or employee, of an affidavit that provides a specific description of the location of the affected land and sets forth information that gives the county pest inspector probable cause to believe that a provision of this article is being or has been violated and the landowner or occupant has denied access to the county pest inspector. No landowner or occupant shall deny access to such land when presented with an inspection warrant.
(d)The county pest inspector shall have the authority to notify and advise the landowner or occupant in writing by certified mail of the findings of the inspection. If such findings indicate a pest infestation or infection, such notice shall name the pest, advise the landowner or occupant to manage the pest, and specify the available control methods of integrated pest management, including mechanical, chemical, and biological methods. Such notice shall inform the landowner or occupant that the state forester or county extension office may be consulted concerning integrated pest management. Where possible, the county pest inspector shall consult with such landowner or occupant in the development of a plan for the management of pest infestations and infections on the premises or lands.
(e)Within ten days after receipt of notification of a pest infestation or infection, the landowner or occupant:
(I)Shall comply with the terms of the notification;
(II)Shall acknowledge the terms of the notification and submit an acceptable plan and schedule for the completion of a plan for compliance; or
(III)May request a hearing before the board of county commissioners or a panel appointed by the board if the landowner or occupant disputes the finding of infestation or infection by the county pest inspector. Any owner requesting a hearing need not control the pests pending the outcome of the hearing. The board of county commissioners conducting the hearing shall order appropriate relief if it finds there is infestation or infection as alleged in the written notice. The owner shall pay for any relief, not to exceed ten thousand dollars annually, ordered under this article, including up to twenty percent of the cost of pest control measures for inspection and other incidental costs.
(2)When necessary to enforce the provisions of this article, a county pest inspector, after notice of pest infestation or infection to the owner pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, shall treat to control the pests on plant host material, buildings, or other property. Such treatment shall not be commenced by a county pest inspector pending the outcome of any hearing requested pursuant to subsection (1) of this section. Upon the completion of such work, a statement of the cost and expense thereof along with a description of the property upon which such work was done shall be filed with the board of county commissioners, who shall pay same without unnecessary delay.
(3)Upon payment by the board of county commissioners of any cost and expense of treating pest infestation or infection in accordance with subsection (2) of this section, the county shall demand in writing from the owner, in person or by mail addressed to the owner at his or her last-known place of residence, reimbursement to the county for the amount of the county’s direct costs and expenses only. The county shall not send a written demand for more than ten thousand dollars. In the written notice, the county shall inform the owner of the right to appear before the board of county commissioners at any meeting thereof, as fixed by law, to be held within the following four months, and be heard as to the amount of the claim for reimbursement. If the claim, as originally demanded by the board or as adjusted upon a hearing, is not paid at the end of the four-month period, the board shall certify the claim to the county treasurer of the county where the property is located. The county treasurer shall add the amount of the claim to any taxes due, or to become due, from the owner, and if the claim is not paid in due course, the county treasurer shall file a lien on the property. The lien’s priority is based upon the date of recording in accordance with article 35 of title 38, C.R.S. The board of county commissioners shall work with any landowner to develop a payment schedule for the cost of an assessment for pest treatment upon a demonstration by the landowner of an economic hardship. All accounts when collected must be deposited into the general fund of the county.
(4)If the board of county commissioners finds that a pest infestation or infection is a result of or can be attributed to an infestation or infection on land owned by any federal, state, or local governmental unit that has not been treated or is not under control, the landowner shall not be charged for any relief ordered pursuant to this section.
(5)A county shall not provide for or compel the management of pests on private property under this section without first applying the same or greater management measures to any land or rights-of-way owned or administered by the local governing body that are adjacent to the private property.
(6)A county pest inspector or agent thereof does not have a cause of action against a landowner or occupant for personal injury or property damage incurred while on public or private land while working within the course and scope of the inspector’s duties except when such damages were willfully caused by the landowner.
Section 35-4-107 — Inspections - notice - treatment - collection of costs,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-35.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).