Natchez awarded grant to clean sites

Published 12:11 am Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NATCHEZ The City of Natchez has been awarded a $25,000 grant to clean several sites where trash has been illegally dumped.

Natchez Community Development Director James Johnston said the grant will cover the trash removal and disposal and any excavation and restoration to the sites.

The grant is funded by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and requires no match from the city.

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Johnston said he and other city officials would begin reviewing the sites at the beginning of January to determine the worst sites and how many they can address with the funding.

“You can find all types of trash and household items and construction items at illegal dumpsites and even at times tires,” Johnston said. “You never know what you’re going to find in an illegal dumpsite.”

The city has received similar funds in the past and used them to clean a variety of dumpsites including areas on Marblestone Alley, South Bluebird Street, Arlington Avenue, Linden Drive, Old Wilson Road, East Oak Street, Scott Lane and West Stiers Lane.

Once the sites have been identified, Johnston said an estimated timeframe could be given for the project.

“To some degree, you have to work around the schedule of one or more contractors,” Johnston said. “We’ll identify sites in January and then start the work sometime in February or March.”

Cities and counties may apply for Solid Waste Assistance Grants through the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

The grants are used by local communities for programs to prevent and clean up unauthorized dumps, to aid in hiring local solid waste enforcement officers, for public education efforts on solid waste disposal and recycling and to establish programs for the collection of white goods, bulky wastes and recyclables.

“The Solid Waste Assistance Grants support a variety of useful solid waste management activities for cities and counties, and this grant will assist Natchez’s efforts in improving their management of solid waste,” said Gary Rikard, MDEQ Executive Director.