County discusses litter pilot program

Published 9:13 pm Thursday, March 25, 2021

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The Pike County Commission discussed problems with illegal dumps in Pike County and a proposal that may cut down on the garbage.

Commissioner Russell Johnson brought the issue up at previous meetings and updated the commission on developments in his plan. Johnson wants to set up four sites in the county, one in each compass quadrant, with roll-off dumpsters. Johnson said the hope is people will drive to the dumpsters and drop off their garbage and not wander around until they find a remote spot and dump the trash in a ditch somewhere.

Johnson said he travels through Tennessee frequently and attributed cleaner roadways to roll-off dumpster programs similar to the one he is advocating. County Engineer Russell Oliver looked into pricing for the program with the Coffee County Landfill’s roll-off dumpster program. He estimated it would cost the county $11,000 to $23,000 annually for the program.

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Johnson said that would be considerably less than the cost of cleaning up new dump sites.

Coffee County Landfill had suggested running a single test site for the program and the commission brought up several questions about the program, including site security, employee cost and litter enforcement.

“I don’t think one site is sufficient for a test run for the entire county,” Johnson said. “We’ve got such an issue that I think it’s worth trying. I have a feeling we might have one problem site. If one is a failure and the other three aren’t, you can’t say the whole program is a failure. I’m not in a rush for a vote. I want to get it done, but it needs to be done right.”

Johnson also said the program would need to merge the part-time litter enforcement position with the proposed program to create a full-time position.

Johnson told the commission he would work out all the details on the four site locations, check on security options and look at enforcement costs. He said the only variable he couldn’t predict would be the cost for the Coffee County Landfill to swap out full and empty containers. He said that would vary depending on how much each site was used.

In other business:

• The Pike County Commission appointed Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas to the E911 Board. Chief Deputy Loren “Buck” Williams currently serves on the board, but asked to be replaced for personal reasons.

• Pike County Attorney Allen Jones said there were some paperwork issues with County Road 3316 in Brundidge. He said when the Wal-Mart Distribution Center was built, the City of Brundidge requested the county turn maintenance of 3316 from U.S. Highway 231 to the Brundidge city limits over to the city. Allen said the county honored the request and Brundidge has been maintaining the road, but the right of way deed is missing. Jones said Brundidge’s new city manager, Willie Wright, found the paperwork error. Jones said he would work with Wright to get the error corrected.

• Pike County Emergency Management Agency Director Herb Huner said there will be a COVID-19 vaccination clinic April 8 at the Troy Sportsplex. He said there will be more than 1,000 vaccines available. Huner said after the logistical meeting for the clinic is conducted, more details will be made available to the public.

• Huner also said plans were being developed for a saferoom at the Tarenturm Community Center and one other location, to be determined by the commission.

• The commission also approved contracts with the Alabama Department of Transportation to begin work on bridge replacement work on County Road 3316 in Brundidge and for a culvert replacement project on County Road 6618 in Banks.