Litter control officer needs board OK

Published 12:11 am Friday, August 24, 2012

NATCHEZ — If given the board of supervisors’ final approval, the proposed Adams County litter control officer will be a single-person department working directly under the oversight of the board.

County Administrator Joe Murray said the budget he has created for the litter control officer at the behest of the board is for approximately $40,000, which includes the officer’s salary, benefits and associated employee costs such as fuel and vehicle repair allowance.

“Whoever is hired, we will have to send them to training, and we will apply for a Department of Environmental Quality grant for the control officer,” Murray said. “The DEQ will provide the training for them, and they will allow up to a 50 percent reimbursement of the salary for the first year and another 25 percent for the second year if they see the program is working.

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“They’ll also add another 10 percent on top of that if the county has a litter ordinance that is tougher than the state’s, and we do, so after two years they could be supplementing as much as 85 percent of the salary for that program.”

The goal of the litter control officer, Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said, would be to write tickets for littering but would have several other duties as well.

“We are planning on possibly killing several birds with one stone with that position,” Grennell said. “We want this person to serve as the eyes of the board for properties in residential areas that are growing up and not being taken care of so residents of those areas won’t be suffering with an eyesore of an abandoned property or vermin coming out of it.”

Some details of the proposed program are still being worked out, and the board directed Grennell and Supervisor Calvin Butler to take the lead in finding out more about how a litter control program can be implemented.

Butler said much of his research was done months ago, when he was running for his seat on the board.

He was inspired by the story of a small community in Ohio that, using a litter control officer and a band of volunteers, was able to go from being noted for its trash to wining the most beautiful city award, Butler said.

“You need someone aggressive and really passionate about litter,” he said. “This can’t just be somebody who is just getting a job because they need a job. You are going to really have to investigate where this litter came from.”

Grennell said the DEQ has a manual for litter control officers that it will be sending him.

The supervisors want the litter control officer to be directly under their oversight rather than under an existing county department so they can keep an eye on the program in its pilot year, Grennell said.

“If that individual is not effective in the duties of the litter control officer, there is no need in maintaining that individual,” he said. “We might need to change that person or end the program, but right now we are trying to make Adams County a much prettier place from a litter standpoint.”