FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — After it reached terms with the owner and operator of Eagle Point Landfill earlier this month, the county is taking steps to strengthen its solid waste ordinances.
County Attorney Ken Jarrard said after the agreement was adopted with Advanced Disposal Services, many stakeholders requested updates to portions of the memorandum.
One suggestion called for hiring a dedicated solid waste code enforcement officer and a county environmental engineer, or a specialist in landfill management.
“We set the stage with a lot of that after we approved weighing trucks on Advanced Disposal property, the signage and checking tarps,” Jarrard said. “The expectation is those would be two separate positions.”
Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills said she was talking to a leader of a local group recently who said they want separate, dedicated people for the jobs.
“They do not think the environmental engineer should be in the same capacity as a code enforcement officer,” Mills said. “We might give them authority to issue citations for violations. They might be on site, or maybe not. But they see that person in a more professional capacity and their work being more extensively about environmental issues.”
A lot of the officers have code enforcement citation ability, Jarrard said, including the county manager in many situations.
“It’s not what they do, but they have the authority,” he said. “It’d make sense to have that individual out there.”
The idea of the two new positions is still preliminary and anticipated salaries have not been established.
Commission Chairman Todd Levent said he wants to ensure both workers would have enough tasks to fill their time. He also said he fears some people may not respond well to them and see them as a “rent a cop.” Jarrard said they’d need to get as much information they can and then report it to the sheriff’s office.
Commissioners also examined specific portions of the solid waste code.
The county manager, sheriff and director of engineering will meet to work out details of edits to the county code regarding solid waste haulers, covered loads, tire washing and related items involving solid waste and the recent memorandum.
Another way to beautify the county would be to utilize the services of county inmates who already participate on a volunteer basis cleaning up trash around the community, said Sheriff Ron Freeman. He suggested using the inmates for median cleanings to reduce costs for citizens and to extend the beautification projects.
“This brought up a conversation about trash control,” Freeman said. “Code enforcement has the ability to enforce violations of law or county ordinances in the state. But also the county is apparently paying the department of corrections and providing a van to bring a couple state inmates over. We have the ability to do more than that and put four to five inmates out.”
This project is not solely for one road, he said, but county-wide.
“It behooves us,” Freeman said. “It gets inmates out doing something good for them and the community. We can do it at a pretty low cost because have majority of the equipment already.”