Lawrence considers higher dumping fees
IRONTON — A project by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to remove scrap tires around Lawrence County was nearly terminated after state officials expressed concern about the number of discarded drug needles found in more than a dozen sites, according to Dan Palmer, director of the Lawrence-Scioto Joint Solid Waste District.
Palmer has been pushing for more than a year to get state assistance in removing scrap tires dumped along county roads. The scrap tires were located in areas where people also illegally dumped trash, said Commissioner DeAnna Holliday.
The illegal dumping prompted some state officials to call Lawrence County the trashiest county in the Buckeye State, Holliday said.
“We have to do better,” Holliday said of the illegal dumping problem. “It’s a problem we have to take on.”
She said officials have found between 1,200 to 1,400 syringes illegally dumped.
The county is initiating a cleanup project called “First Impressions” to have more township cleanup days, she said. Holliday also has talked to local judges and the prosecutor’s office to impose higher fees for illegal dumping.
“This is serious and we’re going to hold people responsible,” Holliday said.
The state agency has been working on scrap tire removal at about 14 sites across the county since last fall. Crews were back in the county this week, Palmer said.
“They have finished five or six sites and hope to finish up the last eight or so in the next day or two,” he said.
Crews already have removed more than 2,700 scrap tires to Liberty Tire Services in Columbus where they are recycled. At least one of the remaining sites has 2,000 tires, he said.
The solid waste district also has scheduled a tire amnesty day at the Ironton Hills Plaza parking lot for April 6. Ten tires can be dropped off at the event, Palmer said.
In other action, Commissioner Freddie Hayes Jr. was named president of the board for 2019 and Holliday was named vice president. It was the first meeting for Dr. Colton Copley, who was appointed to the board to replace the late Bill Pratt.
Hayes said he was honored to take over the gavel as board president.
One change he wants to make is to have county officeholders meet once a month this year.
The board also set regular meeting times for 10 a.m. Tuesdays.
In other action, the board:
• Approved a bid of nearly $200,000 to clear trees along the flight path of the Lawrence County Airpark along County Road 1.
• Hired the Ironton law firm of McCown and Fisher at $85 per hour for legal services for the county Department of Job and Family Services Child Support Enforcement Agency for 2019.
• Agreed to advertise for bids for HVAC preventative maintenance repair and emergency services for the department of job and family services starting Feb. 1.
• Hired Thomas Flanery as a part-time EMT and David McGlothin as a part-time paramedic for the county emergency services district.