Visitors’ ‘litteral’ welcome

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 14, 2000

to Troy concerns mayor


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Mayor Jimmy Lunsford is not taking litter lightly.

In fact, the other day when he saw a ticket had been written for littering, he responded with "Thank goodness!"

And, he wouldn’t

mind one bit if he had the opportunity to utter that expression of gratitude over and over. Maybe then, the problem, that is plaguing the city and raising the ire of most of its residents, would be resolved.

"Every road that leads to Troy is being littered and many of our city streets," the mayor said. "We are just struggling to find to solutions. Litter is very hard to control, but I am going to talk with each shift of our police officers and I want them to understand that litter control doesn’t take president over other situations, but I do want everyone to be cognizant about it."

However, Lunsford said it is very difficult for an officer in a black-and-white to observe litter bugs in action.

"If there is an officer in the vicinity, no one is going to throw litter onto the highway," he said. "But, we do have other vehicles that are not easily observed. We are looking into several ways to curb this problem."

One way would be for concerned citizens to be willing to step forward.

"What our citizens have to understand is that, if they see someone littering and call the police, there is nothing law enforcement can do unless they are willing to sign a warrant," Lunsford said. "Not many people are willing to do that, but unless a warrant is signed, no police action can be taken. We would hope that there is enough interest in this issue that concerned citizens would be willing to step forward and sign a warrant."

In the event a warrant is signed, the result might be a "he said, she said" dilemma for the judge to sort out, the mayor said.

"In the event, a ticket is written for littering, Judge Nick Cevera has said that he is willing to sentence litterers to wearing an orange vest with the lettering "I’ve littered on Troy" and picking up trash along the roadways and on city streets."

The fine for the first offense for littering is not less than $100 or more than $300.

The second is not less than $200 or more than $400 and the third is not less than $300 or more than $500.

Another solution to the litter problem is to make sure that none of the city vehicles are spreading litter.

"We are going to pay close attention to our own vehicles and we are also going to start writing tickets for uncovered vehicles that could spread trash along the highways," Lunsford said. "Much of the large trash is blown off trucks and we’ve got to make sure all vehicles hauling trash are covered."

When visitors come to town, they are "litterally" welcomed to Troy.

"Nobody likes to see littered highways," the mayor said. "Our residents don’t like it and it doesn’t create a positive image of our town. The roads leading into town are awful and we’re doing our best to keep them picked up. But, it seems like as fast as we pick it, it’s put right back down."

Lunsford cited a recent pickup on Trojan Way.

"Two days later, it looked like no one had been out there picking up," he said. "Our Bicentennial Park is a beautiful place, and for a while, we had someone out there every day picking up litter. We’d pick up in the morning and it would be littered again by afternoon. We don’t pick up every day now, but we could."

The mayor said he is committed to finding a solution to the problem or solutions to the problem. However, if everyone would be mindful of the problems litter causes and the cost of keeping the highways and streets litter free, the solution would be a very personal one and a very easy one.

"We are going to continue to work on this problem until we find something that will get the attention of those who are littering," Lunsford said. "We are working to find the right solution – and we will."