Illegal dumping

These tires were dumped on the side of a Madison County road earlier this year.

Dumpers beware. Local officials are planning to crack down on solid waste violators.

Madison County has a new code enforcement officer, Christopher Roach, and the county plans to discuss a nuisance abatement ordinance at its next meeting on May 3. Higdon urged citizens to look at the county website madisoncountyga.us under the “Quick Links” at the “Madison County Code of Ordinances.”

“I encourage everyone to get familiar with Chapter 54 of the Solid Waste Ordinance,” said Higdon. “Our code enforcement officer’s first priority will be to concentrate on violations of the Solid Waste Ordinance. I’m trying to give a heads up to everybody. If you feel like you’re in violation in any way, and you feel like he’s going to come a knockin’, please read that ordinance and understand it well.”

Higdon also talked about the trash on county roads, reporting that inmate work detail crews picked up 8,800 lbs. of roadside litter and 20,120 lbs. of trash at various illegal dump sites.

“Twenty-nine thousand pounds of trash was picked up on our roads in 2020,” said Higdon. “Wow! If you wonder why we have a code enforcement officer and our deputies and these illegal dump sites, these will come quickly to an end.”

He added: “It’s astonishing to see how much trash we have on the side of our roads. It’s actually a shame.”

Higdon noted that a recycling event will be held this Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the county government complex. A roadside trash pick-up is scheduled for May 23 and 24. Four dumpsters will be placed around the county and monitored. They will be for roadside trash only, not furniture or appliances. Those participating in the trash pickup of their roads can stop by the county road department on Hwy. 98 for free trash bags. Registration to adopt a road will be the Monday through Friday prior to the event.

A tire amnesty event will also be held between May 1 and June 5. Citizens can bring up to 10 tires at no charge. The chairman reported that 109 tons of tires collected in 2020 during the Tire Amnesty Events. More information on these events is given under the transfer station link on the county website at madisoncountyga.us. Higdon also asked motorists to be careful on the roads and look out for those picking up trash and road department crews cutting grass.

The new code enforcement officer will also address the board May 3 about large animal burials. The county commissioners are considering discontinuing the long-time service of burying animals free of charge for local farmers, which is considered, under the law, a gratuity and not legally sound, according to the county attorney.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other business:

•The commissioners awarded a contract to low-bidder Stratton & Sons Construction of $1,169,115 to handle county paving projects approved through the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) program. Roads include Timberland Road, Kellogg Drive, West Kellogg Drive, Swamp Guinnea Road, Booger Hill Road, Bishop Carey Road, Old Ginn Road, Pine Valley Farm Road, Forest Lane and Adams Clarke Road.

•William Smith was approved to the planning and zoning commission Monday. He was thanked for taking the position and told to get ready for numerous zoning requests ahead in the next few weeks.

•Charlie Barrett, field representative for U.S. Ninth District Congressman Andrew Clyde, addressed the board and said that Clyde’s office in Gainesville is available to help county leaders and constituents in District 9.

•A moment of silence was held at the beginning of the meeting for former Madison County Commissioner Dewitt “Pete” Bond, who passed away last week. “He will be truly missed,” said Higdon.

•Cynthia McElreath was hired to fill the vacant assistant director position at the county recreation department.

•The board agreed to sell a landlocked 4.5-acre county-owned tract of land through the bidding process. That land is advertised on Page 5A.

•The board approved a resolution and an intergovernmental agreement supporting the industrial authority in seeking a grant to connect the Mize Road water system in west Madison County with the county water system.

•The board approved a change to county regulations on when alcohol taxes are collected, allowing businesses to pay their excise taxes to the county when they pay those taxes to the state.

•The board approved a policy change allowing the BOC chairman, human resources director and department head to hire employees within a department. Positions of assistant director and director will be considered by the board of commissioners.

•Commissioner Derek Doster said he feels it’s important for the county to understand how emergency radio upgrades, which have been implemented, help improve local emergency services.

•County attorney Pruett was asked to provide a legal training session for county zoning board members.

•Commissioner Dennis Adams said he’d like to start getting updates from the industrial authority at BOC meetings. He said the water project in the works in the Hwy. 106 area will help lower insurance rates for homeowners nearby. Commissioner Brian Kirk said he would like to see more water infrastructure in District 4.

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