What can be done to clean up Pierce County’s trashy roadways?

Third district commissioner Randy Dixon asked for action on Pierce County’s litter problem at last Tuesday’s commission meeting.

Dixon’s remarks came following County Manager Jason Rubenbauer’s report, in which he informed commissioners the mowing of county road rights-of-way has begun for this year.

“Can we check again into adding litter pickup to the mowing contract?,” Dixon asked.

Rubenbauer said previous inquiries into adding the litter pickup to the mowing contract would add between $100 and $150 per mile to the contract.

The county currently pays K&A Mowing of Blackshear $74,400 per year for mowing of the county’s approximately 480 miles of rights-of-way. The litter pickup would increase the annual rate to as high as $146,000.

Dixon said he was embarrassed at Pierce county’s trashy and unkempt appearance.

“When the mowers go by, it looks like a bomb of trash has just exploded,” he said.

Dixon says he travels all over south Georgia with his work with Pierce Timber and says Pierce County is by far the worst in terms of litter along the roadways.

“Pierce County has the worst problem. The worst. Comparing Charlton and Brantley it is not even close. Pierce is the worst.”

Dixon asked Sheriff Ramsey Bennett if he could implement a combination of law enforcement and inmate work details to help combat the trash and litter problems.

Bennett was present at the meeting and said he had attempted to crack down on littering.

“We started issuing citations for littering, but it doesn’t seem to have slowed it down,” he said.

The sheriff said inmate work crews have been deployed in an attempt to clean up ahead of the mowers and to clean up county rights of way. He did say, however, that work crews are limited on the days they can work.

Besides, he said, the inmates assigned to the work details picking up litter have even expressed frustration at the futility of their cleanup task.

“I had one inmate crew complain to me that people threw trash out while they were out there cleaning the rights of way. That’s pretty bad,” the sheriff said.

Rubenbauer is to check on the possibility of adding litter pickup to the contract and report back to commissioners.