By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter
At the regular
April meeting of the Dade County Commission on Thursday evening, commissioners
and citizens talked some serious trash.
Commissioner Allan Bradford in his monthly report told of how the sheriff’s
department had recently devoted resources and manpower toward cleaning up
garbage dumped on Newsome Gap Road.
District 1’s Mitchell Smith elaborated: If whoever left it there had
carted it to the landfill, said Smith: “It would have cost the people maybe $5
at the tops, but it cost the county maybe $500 to pick it up.”
think they’re saving by avoiding tipping fees, said Smith, but as taxpayers
they’re costing themselves money in increased expenditures of public funds.
Smith’s challenge to the county was: “Come to the dump.”
citizens’ participation part of the meeting, James Tinker stood up to suggest
the problem might be confusion as to where, exactly, that was. “I thought
somebody told the citizens of Dade County Hale’s Gap was the new dumping site,”
Sand Mountain residents in the Scratch Ankle neighborhood were progressively
unhappier about the mess. The area had been cleaned up several years ago, he
said, but was now getting choked again with litter. “Somebody has to see these
cars going in and out, because there ain’t but one way in or one way out, but
nobody reports it,” he said.
Deborah Tinker, speaking in her capacity as the executive director of the Dade
County Chamber of Commerce, said C of C ambassadors had picked up 120 bags of
garbage in Hale’s Gap. She reminded the public that the Chamber will provide
free garbage bags to any individual or group wishing to help with the “Great
American Cleanup,” ongoing until the end of May. Readers may call the Chamber
at (706) 657-4488.
commissioners said the sheriff’s department took illegal dumping seriously and
could track perpetrators down by looking for paper litter with their names or
addresses. They urged anyone noticing illegal dumping to report it, either to
the commission office (706) 657-4624 or to the Dade County Sheriff’s Department
Still on the
subject of garbage, Dade County Executive Chairman Ted Rumley recommended that
the commission renew Dade’s contract with S&ME Inc. for monitoring of the
old county landfill. He explained that the company tested groundwater in the
dump’s vicinity for contamination. Recent samples still showed a trace of
cobalt, but Rumley hoped within the next few months the water would test pure
enough to relieve the county of its monitoring obligation altogether. Anyway,
he said, “Most people are not on wells anymore.”
voted to approve the renewal. In other business, the commission also voted to
proclaim May 12-18 Respect for Law Week.
April 4 meeting was so short on agenda items that the commissioners’ work
session at 6 p.m. ended in time to call the business meeting to order at 6:06.
But that is not
to say the evening was entirely without drama: Commissioner Bradford of
District 4 delivered the ill tidings: The blinking light at Highway 157 has
Anyone who has
traveled by night in the Head River area will realize the significance of the
news. Fog is the abiding affliction of that part of the mountain. “When you get
to 157, you can’t see two foot in front of you,” said Bradford.
He said the
solar-powered light at Highway 157, which had been installed only a month or
two previously, had probably already prevented a number of accidents. “I’ve had
so many comments about it,” said Bradford.
the loss is, Bradford said his emphasis will be on recovering the light as opposed
to punishing the taker. “If they’ll just call me, there won’t be any charges,”
said in any case another light is already on order. This one, he said, will be
welded in place to discourage the covetous.
the audience on the county’s search for a new human resources director after
the precipitous departure of the incumbent pursuant to questions raised by the
audit of fiscal 2012. He said the auditors, who are doing the testing of
candidates for the position, had narrowed the field down to five hopefuls.
Rumley hopes to have the vacancy filled by next week, he said.
He touched on
the recent friction between the sheriff’s department, which has released
numbers it says show that Dade’s new jail kitchen is saving the county big
bucks, and Randy’s Restaurant, which used to cater meals at the lockup, and
contends the reverse. Rumley said anyone who likes may come in and review the
figures. “We have that in our office and we can show you exactly what’s going
on with that,” he said.
On the business
front, Rumley congratulated D&B Powder Coating on its new hydrographics
process. He also said the county is
doing, and will do, all it can to accommodate the expansion of another
business, Accellent, eager to keep the big employer in Dade County.
And finally, he
pointed out that the ongoing controversy over Georgia’s claim to Tennessee
River access had once again put tiny Dade – which is where Georgia’s drinking
straw would dip into the river – on the map. He had just been interviewed by a
CBS crew for a Friday national news report, said Rumley. “It surprises me that
it would draw that much attention,” said the “Executator” modestly. And, with a
nod to the press table: “That’ll sell a lot of newspapers in the next year.”
Robert Goff was absent, traveling abroad, and District 2’s Scottie Pittman had
nothing to report.
stood up to report on the Friends of the Library’s March 22’s dinner with
elected leaders, which included a brainstorming session on how to save the
threatened library. She said getting a resolution to dedicate a portion of
county taxes to support the library had been one of the favorite ideas
discussed. Another had been getting the regional management to house one
employee at the Dade branch to stretch staff there. That, said Ms. Street, was
one she would be pressing forward immediately.
Ms. Street also
said that Marshana Sharp, the library’s manager, was looking for someone to
teach a money management class.
Dade’s representative on the regional mental health board, stood up to invite
the public to a community education program this month called “SOAR,” the
Science of Addiction and Recovery. It runs 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on April 30 and
includes lunch. Location is the LaFayette Recreation Department at 638 S. Main
St. in LaFayette. For more information,
Black may be reached at (423) 718-1725.
Dade’s own John
Deffenbaugh, newly elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, addressed
the commission briefly about the House’s recently concluded legislative
session. He reported that legislation had been passed to combat “pill mills” –
facilities that grant easy access to prescription drugs – and that state
personnel would be shifted interdepartmentally to enforce it. “If one doctor is
doing all the prescribing in the town, they’ll be able to tell that,” he said.
urged constituents to stay in touch. “I need input,” he said. “That’s the
lifeblood of everybody down there.”
Readers may email the representative at firstname.lastname@example.org.