The Pike County Fiscal Court learned the county continues making strides in its fight to stop illegal dumping in the county on Tuesday.
During Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Pike County Fiscal Court, the Pike County PRIDE organization came before the court to ask its assistance with the organization’s latest plan, that would result cameras being set up in locations that officials said are “hot spots” for illegal dumping.
“The board tried to do something that would help the county,” said PRIDE coordinator Jimmy Dale Sanders. “We went out and bought some cameras so we can catch these people who continue to illegally dump in the county.”
According to Sanders, PRIDE has already purchased two cameras that will be placed at what officials called “hot spots” for persistent dumping, but are asking the court to pay the bill each month, which is $10 per camera . The cameras, which were purchased through Verizon Wireless, will give the county 24/7 surveillance of those areas chosen that employees will be able to access through their cell phones, said Sanders.
“You can have three to four cell phones connected to it at all times, so we can have someone always watching,” Sanders said.
The ability to monitor and record activity at these locations, some of which Jones said has been cleaned up before with grant money, should help the court’s ongoing battle in stopping illegal dumping in the county, something the fiscal court has tried to do since the current administration took office.
Bruce Anderson, the Pike County Solid Waste enforcement officer, who the county hired in February to assist in fighting the dumping, said the number of people who have been cited or arrested is “up around the 80s.”
According to Anderson, the camera program was referred to PRIDE, as well as himself by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as it is similar to the ones used to monitor Fish Trap Lake, although he said the ones PRIDE purchased is “a little more upgraded” than the one used by the Corps, as they have a limited number of photos they are able to take, as the one the one for the county are able to take unlimited photos.
“In the past, when we put trail cameras up they were stolen,” Jones said. “Are we going to be able to put these in places that are high up enough to prevent people from stealing them?”
Sanders said that there’s no real way of stopping people from stealing them, but with the capabilities the cameras posses, it would be easy to take a picture or go back and pull the recording to identify the culprit.
“If we can just get pictures,” Jones said. “Then we can put them on Facebook and with as many people that have that, it won’t be that hard to find somebody.”
The court approved paying the bill, which Anderson said could be cancelled at any time.
“You’re never going to create jobs here if we don’t have a clean environment,” Jones said. “People come in here to look to put a business in and they a lot of illegal dumps and garbage, that’s not somewhere you’re going to want to do business.
“This court has been committed to making sure that we do our part in cleaning up this county and we will continue that commitment.” Jones added.