Pearl River County Board of Supervisors Addresses Garbage Pickup and Zoning Changes

Published 11:31 pm Monday, April 8, 2024

On Monday, April 8th, the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors convened a workshop with local officials and citizens to discuss forthcoming changes in the county. Over the course of the three-hour session, attention centered on two primary topics: the implementation of a county-wide garbage pickup service and proposed zoning regulations.

County Administrator Adrian Lumpkin provided an overview of the county’s efforts to establish a comprehensive garbage collection system. Lumpkin noted that a recent proposal, allowing residents to dispose of up to four garbage bags at the local landfill while facilitating private trash pickup, faced scrutiny from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. The department highlighted the county’s non-compliance with Mississippi Code 17-17-5, which mandates a collection service for unincorporated areas. Consequently, Pearl River County is compelled to introduce a garbage pickup service covering the entire county.

Lumpkin emphasized that discussions on this matter have persisted for nearly two decades, stating, “PRC is the only county in the state that does not have a county-wide garbage pickup.”

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Elvis Williamson Jr., owner of First Choice Garbage Service, expressed support for a county-wide pickup while advocating for local involvement. Williamson proposed limited permits, stringent inspections, and prioritization of local companies over national ones. Williamson currently serves over 2,000 PRC residents.

Supervisor Donald Hart cautioned against hastiness, citing the complexity of the issue and its impact on livelihoods.

Representatives from Coastal Environmental Services, newly responsible for garbage pickup in Hancock County, offered cooperation with PRC, including collaboration with local haulers and pickup firms.

Matthew Bilbo, a PRC resident, sought clarity on potential impacts for residents currently paying for dumpsters.

Supervisor Bryce Lott suggested exploring options for residents with existing dumpster contracts to obtain waivers for county trash pickup.

Supervisor Malcolm Perry stressed the consequences of non-compliance with state requirements, highlighting the potential for legal repercussions and fines.

Throughout the meeting, the board emphasized that this was merely the initial step in the process, underscoring a learning curve as discussions progress.

The latter part of the workshop centered on proposed zoning changes, initially met with skepticism from residents concerned about property rights and tax implications.

Supervisors clarified that zoning regulations would offer flexibility and exceptions tailored to landowners’ needs, with minimal impact on neighboring residents.

Addressing concerns about tax increases, the board asserted that property taxes are contingent on land usage, dispelling misconceptions about potential hikes tied to zoning changes.