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Front Page June 12, 2018  RSS feed

Commissioners attempt to calm waste dump worries

By Mac Shadix

It was number eleven on the agenda and just one short sentence, “Discuss and possibly take action on trash collection sites.” but it brought the most discussion in the Commissioners Court meeting at 9:30 on June 10.

“We are going to stop small general contractors from bringing trailer loads out to the dump for free. That’s the only thing that is changing.” Commissioner Joey Sullivan said in an address to the court.

The discussion about dumping brought out the fact that it costs the county almost $300,000 per year to meet the needs of the county. And that is before they seek grants to help handle ‘hazardous waste such as tires and paint and electronics. Commissioner David Ferguson stayed on point with the comment that the citizens of the local municipalities are already paying for weekly pickup, and yet are taxed for the dump sites.

Ferguson made the point that in a recent court meeting he asked for a survey on the dump policies of the nearby counties with similar populations. That survey has not yet been completed.

It was clear that citizen input was swaying the commissioners on this issue. Comments were made about stories in county newspapers during the debate. The free dumps were first offered as a way to stop illegal dumping in the countryside. Our affluent, disposable culture assures that each one of us generates tons of solid waste each year and it is only our government that can deal with the problem. Continued citizen input to the County Judge and Commissioners will insure that the issue gets proper attention.

A wide ranging discussion of the proposed 2018 Leon County Appraisal District Operation Budget triggered a statement from County Judge Byron Ryder to the effect that the state government is forcing the hand of the county appraisal districts in relation to increasing the rates. The state is attempting to shift the costs of public education from the state to the local taxpayers and no one is paying attention, Ryder said. He added that the Texas House of Representatives had attempted to deal with the issue but that it had died in the state senate. Ryder urged voters to arm themselves with information about the issue. After noting some salary increases in the appraisal district budget further debate was put off until the June 27th meeting when the Chief Appraiser, Jeff Breshears could be invited to be present. The appraisal district is a state agency, and Leon County only has one director, Dean Stanford on the board.

The commissioners considered and denied a request for the county Office of Emergency Management to use their truck in the 4th of July parade in Centerville.

It was reported to the court that a total of 3.91% of Leon County voters chose to participate in the second primary election.


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