Trash talk takes spotlight at county session

Posted 2/20/19

It wasn’t on the meeting agenda, but litter and related issues were the main topic of discussion during Tuesday’s Bradley County Commission voting session.

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Trash talk takes spotlight at county session


It wasn’t on the meeting agenda, but litter and related issues were the main topics of discussion during Tuesday’s Bradley County Commission voting session.

The discussion began when Commissioner Tim Mason, who is also environmental codes enforcement officer for the Bradley County Sheriff's Office and Tennessee Department of Transportation litter coordinator with the BCSO, presented a year-to-date report on the BCSO’s Litter Grant Program.

According to the report, the grant year is from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019, with the original grant amount of $65,100. The four target areas for the education plan for the grant year are media, public, student and government, and the report outlined activities in each. Mason also listed upcoming events, including:

• The Great American Cleanup, which begins March 1. This is the country’s largest community improvement program, and TDOT will partner with Keep Tennessee Beautiful and the Tennessee Grocer’s Association to hold a reusable bag event at 483 grocery stores across the state.

• The “Tarp it or Ticket” campaign at the Bradley County Landfill on March 2, with partners Santek Waste Services and Bradley/Cleveland Keep America Beautiful. The focus of this event is awareness of the Tennessee Secured Load Law which states motor vehicles shall be required to have litter, garbage, refuse and rubbish in an enclosed space or fully covered by a tarpaulin during transport. An officer will check vehicles coming to the landfill for compliance with the law, and give tarps to those who need them.

• Household Hazardous Waste Day on April 6, at the Bradley County Justice Center. This is a free event.

Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis said this event is paid for by Bradley County and is available to all county residents, including residents of Cleveland.

• Keep Cleveland Clean Day at Raider Park on April 13.

As part of his report, Mason also announced last week 66,220 pounds of litter were picked up throughout Bradley County, from 423 miles of county roads, 155 miles of state roads and 60 miles of Cleveland city streets. In addition, 925 pounds of recyclable material was picked up.

“We’re busy but we’re slowly and surely getting it done,” Mason said of litter pickup.

Discussion of litter and trash concerns continued when local resident T.L. Huskins spoke to the commissioners during the time designated for communication from the audience. Huskins said he lives near the landfill and voiced concerns about litter left by people hauling uncovered loads to the landfill, as well as “toxic waste, chemical waste, human waste, dead animals, building waste, fiberglass, asbestos, garbage of every conceivable kind, and the list can go on and on.” Huskins added Mason does a good job as litter officer, but he can’t do it all.

“The landfill is a nasty, dirty, filthy, stinky, diseased place on the southwest corner of Bradley County,” Huskins said. “It destroys land values of the citizens of our community and was forced upon us despite our opposition, leaving us no hope of ever having it moved after being lied to about the length of how long it would be in our community.”

Huskins added he hopes the new county commissioners can help with these issues.

In other business, the commission:

• Approved presenting BCSO Deputy Chip Bryant with his service weapon upon his retirement. Bryant is a 31-year veteran of local law enforcement.

• Approved Davis’ reappointments of Joe Davis to the Conasauga River Alliance and Mark Herron to the Bradley County Board of Zoning Appeals.

• Heard from Commissioner Milan Blake that he attended a baseball game between Lee University and Carson-Newman University at the new Olympic Field, adjacent to Ocoee Middle School. Blake said the new facility is “fantastic” and he is glad the OMS Colts will be able to play there, too.

• Approved a consent agenda that includes budget amendments; requests to dispose of assets from the BCSO and Bradley County Emergency Management Agency; approval of notary publics; and a motion to approve a letter requesting the City of Cleveland share the cost of purchasing an automated external defibrillator device for the Bradley-Cleveland Senior Center, with cost not to exceed $2,000.

• Heard from Commissioner Erica Davis she believes resident Jack Keith “raised some very valid concerns” regarding inmates’ use of phones and the commissary at the Bradley County Jail when he spoke to the County Commission last week.

“The cycle of crime affects us all,” Davis said, adding this country is also facing a mental health crisis that must be addressed.

• Heard from Commissioner Kevin Raper that the SPCA of Bradley County will meet at 6 o'clock tonight at the Bradley County Juvenile Center.

The Bradley County Commission will meet in a work session at 7 p.m. next Monday, in the County Commission Courtroom at the Courthouse.


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