Supervisors moving toward stiffer litter ordinance
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 7, 2017
As part of an ongoing campaign against litter, the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors adopted a new county ordinance on Monday regulating the collection and transportation of waste.
After numerous complaints from citizens and Pearl River County Litter Control Officer Danny Joe Slade, the Board decided to regulations for commercial collectors by adding inspections of equipment used for such purposes.
Or as several Board members called it, “adding some teeth” to the county’s ability to fight back against litter offenders.
The ordinance, drafted by Board Attorney Joe Montgomery with the help of District II Supervisor Malcolm Perry, established a semi-annual permit process for all commercial collectors to be executed by the county road and litter control departments.
The Board voted not to include a permit fee, but commercial collectors will still be required to obtain a privilege license permit from the county tax assessor’s office, costing about $20 annually, Pearl River County Tax Assessor Gary Beech said.
The biannual inspections will ensure commercial collectors have proper insurance and licensing, properly marked vehicles, a privilege license permit, vehicles with working brakes, lighting, signals and tags and an adequate tarp or netting system to comply with state law regarding the transportation of waste, the ordinance states.
If a violation is found, a person or company can be found guilty of a misdemeanor and held responsible for immediately correcting the violation, the ordinance states.
The Board also voted to include a penalty stating that a third conviction of violating the ordinance within two years will result in the removal of the person’s or company’s permit for one year.
The Board voted to place the ordinance in effect as of June 30, 2017.
In other litter matters, the Board heard from Poplarville resident John McKie who said he has picked up litter near his home on Balmoral Drive for a number of years.
McKie said he has found everything from full beer cans and bottles, to discarded fast food wrappers, real estate signs, voided checks and even $8 in cash.
He asked the Board to continue discussions about the problem and look for viable ways to keep the litter off the street, citing Board Vice President Hudson Holliday’s idea to distribute anti-littering coloring books to schools.
McKie also asked for local law enforcement to increase patrols in that area after witnessing incidents of public drinking, speeding and littering, especially at night.
The Board thanked McKie for his efforts, saying the county could benefit from more involvement like his.
District I Supervisor Donald Hart is moving forward with plans to hold a county cleanup day on March 25. During Monday’s meeting he asked the county road department for the use of their trucks to collect bags of litter and transport them to the Central Landfill in Millard.
Hart also asked the other supervisors for strategic help to plan where pickup locations should be placed around the county.
Board President Sandy Kane Smith said he recently spoke to a local troop of Boy Scouts who said they would participate in the effort.
Those who wish to volunteer should call Hart at 601-528-3984 or email@example.com.
The Board is holding the first of three Town Hall meetings on Thursday at the Pearl River Community College Technology Center at 6 p.m.
County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said matters to be discussed included how taxes are used to fund projects and the daily operation of the county. Questions from the community will also be accepted.