Talking trash: Commission forms litter committee

Published 10:55 pm Monday, March 10, 2014

County residents say the litter along County Road 3304 is a  never-ending problem.

County residents say the litter along County Road 3304 is a never-ending problem.

Commissioners may have an answer to Pike County’s roadway litter problem by the next scheduled meeting on March 24.
Commissioners Joey Jackson, Charlie Harris and Jimmy Barron formed a committee to research the issue and form a plan during the group’s meeting on Monday.
“We’re looking for a solution, and we’re going to take measures and see what we can do to get it cleaned up,” Barron said after the meeting. “I’m tired and my constituents are tired of our county roads looking like a landfill.”
Harris said he believed drivers passing through from outside county lines were responsible for most of the litter that had been dumped in his yard.
The committee’s solutions will focus on cleaning up the litter, not punishing those who dump it, since commissioners said punishing those who are dumping the trash would be an uphill battle. Jackson said law enforcement would have to see the people litter in order to fine them.
“We hear our constituents, and we’re trying to get something done about it,” Jackson said.
Committee members have discussed the issue with officials from the City of Troy and the Alabama Department of Transportation.
Jackson said the county would follow Troy’s lead.
“We found out the city uses 12 to 14 Elba inmates on work release a day,” he said.
The county will look into hiring four nonviolent inmates at a cost of $18,000. The county must pay each inmate $15 a day if lunches are not provided and $10 a day if the county feeds them. Commissioners also must assign a county employee to train and supervise the inmates.
If all goes well, the county will expand the program. Jackson said the City of Troy budgets $50,000 a year to cover the costs of its program.
Before the March 24 meeting, committee members will meet with the warden of Elba’s work release program.
“We’re trying to get a start, and we know with summer coming around, it’s going to get worse,” Harris said.
In other business, county commissioners:

  • Approved seeking renewal of a $50,000 Drug and Violent Crime Task Force grant shared between Pike County Commissioners; the Pike County Sheriff’s Office; the cities of Elba, Troy and Enterprise; the district attorney’s office; and the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office;
  • Approved a resolution for Child Abuse Prevention Month on behalf of the Child Advocacy Center;
  • Authorized county engineers to purchase equipment needed to make repairs on County Road 2276 for up to $30,000; and
  • met in executive session to discuss pending litigation. No action was taken.