Obion cleanup efforts target lots and roadside dumping

Obion cleanup efforts target lots and roadside dumping
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Cleaning up around town is being taken to a whole new level in Obion.
The Obion city council met Monday night for an hour-long meeting that was dominated by issues related to cleaning up around town.
There were several up-dates on efforts by the city to clean up rundown lots in town. The city already cleaned up two lots in the 700 block of East Palestine Avenue, which was ap-proved by Mayor Glen Parnell, and the city will be sending the $687.50 bill to the property owner, identified as Rosetta Bates of New York.
“I think we need to go the route of whoever owns the property, send them a bill,” council member Patsy Barker said.
Other dilapidated properties around town are also being targeted for cleanup by the city.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, to clear up what Obion Public Works Direc-tor Randy Evans described as some “confusion” over what is allowed to be taken to the city’s dump on the east side of town, the council voted unanimously to prohibit commercial tree trimming contractors from using the dump site.
City residents will still be able to take yard debris to the dump, but contractors will no longer be allowed to leave debris from tree trimming jobs.
An ordinance will be drafted to amend the city’s 2003 ordinance, which required a free city permit for commercial contractors to use the dump.
“Let’s be careful when we word this,” Evans said.
“I want it settled,” Mrs. Barker said about the issue.
“Well, let’s get it in writing,” council member Mike Miller said.
From there, the council moved on to the issue of bulk garbage collection.
“We’ve still got a problem with bulk pickup,” Evans said. “We are still losing money.”
He explained there are residents in town who are leaving such items as mattresses, appliances, old couches and even dismantled sheds and trailers along the side of the road.
“Is this privilege being abused?” Evans asked rhetorically.
“We don’t need to be in that business,” he stated seconds later.
Obion resident Donald Bloxom Sr. joined in the discussion by saying, “Bulk pickup needs to stop tonight, in my opinion.”
Rather than making a rash decision on the matter, though, the council asked Evans to draft a proposal for the council’s next meeting in two weeks.
Evans described as “rampant” the ongoing problem of residents, and primarily renters, leaving large items discarded illegally along the side of the road and in ditches around town. Police Chief Royce Aker said citations are being issued and those cases are being handled in court. Aker provided the council with an update on how some of the cases are proceeding in court.
In other action Monday night, the council:
• Accepted firefighter Paul Duren’s resignation from the Obion Volunteer Fire Department.
• Approved the purchase of a $3,850 new valve for the water plant, as recommended by Evans. Also, the council approved spending $850 for a cast iron breaker for the public works department.
Monday’s meeting was opened in prayer led by council member James Depriest and the Pledge of Allegiance led by the mayor.
Published in The Messenger 10.16.12

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