Lamar County supervisors pass garbage ordinance 3-2

By BUSTER WOLFE,

What one Lamar County Supervisor termed as “not a perfect document” was approved by a 3-2 vote last week by the Board of Supervisors as months of wrangling and rewriting ended with the passage of the garbage ordinance.

One hangup in the ordinance’s passage came over how to address garbage collection at multi-family dwellings. The new automated garbage truck is expected to arrive within the next month.

Board Attorney Perry Phillips presented the final version to the supervisors, but some said tweaking was still needed. The ordinance eventually passed 3-2, with Board President Joe Bounds and District 5 Supervisor Dale Lucus dissenting. 

Lucus also dissented in an amendment to the Lamar County Solid Waste Management Plan regarding residential garbage management, putting it in line with the garbage ordinance.

Perry said he included language about yard debris in the garbage ordinance.

“The county will do pickup of routine limbs and yard debris,” he said. “But if they go get a landscaper or someone who clearcuts their lot, then they have to take it off.”

The ordinance also called for four-sided enclosures around each dumpster.

“Is having a dumpster closed up on four sides reasonable?” District 4 Supervisor Phillip Carlisle asked.

Senior Planner Michael Hershman said it is reasonable.

“Do we need to have design standards for these enclosures?” Hershman asked. “Then we need to go ahead and say you need to enclose it and make sure the waste company can get a truck in there to tip the dumpster. I think it’s doable and reasonable, yes.”

District 1 Supervisor Steve Lampton disagreed.

“On four sides? Do you think they are going to get out and open the gate every time they want to go in and dump a dumpster?” he asked. “I don’t know that that’s reasonable.”

“What about going ahead and putting trash in the dumpster?” District 2 Supervisor Warren Byrd asked.

Carlisle said, “I understand four sides and I also understand people just chunk it over there, hoping that it will hit something. And, it’s really had to prevent illegal dumping with dumpsters.”

“This is going to be a policy in action,” Lampton said. “We are going to have to look at this at different times when people come in with concerns. But, I think this is a good start to what our end results are, and that’s to try to keep the county a little bit cleaner. 

“It’s not the perfect document, but I don’t know there is a perfect answer to this question.”

County Administrator Joseph “Jody” Waits presented the proposal of automated garbage pickup to supervisors in a board meeting Jan. 19, 2017, after Waits, Carlisle and Sanitation Department Supervisor Danny Young saw the system in action during a trip to Monroe County in northern Mississippi.

The Board of Supervisors approved buying 96-gallon garbage cans for county residents at its April 2017 meeting, but not without some disagreement on the need and the operation of the automated pickup. The supervisors voted 3-2 in favor of purchasing the cans from lone bidder Cascade Engineering of Grand Rapids, Mich., with Lampton and Lucus voting against the proposal.

The cost of the cans, which will be gray, are $45.90 each and include an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) chip for tracking in each can in case it is lost or stolen. 

The Supervisors will meet next at 9 a.m. July 19 at the William J. “Pete” Gamble III Chancery Courthouse in Purvis.