Southampton board hears garbage complaints

Published 10:47 am Wednesday, June 27, 2012

COURTLAND—Concerns for non-residents using garbage dumpsites in Southampton County and site attendants not helping the elderly with their garbage prompted a discussion among the Board of Supervisors that ended with no action.

Berlin-Ivor District Supervisor Ronnie West believes the complaints may have been prompted after supervisors in May adopted a $52 million budget that includes charging residents a $200 annual garbage fee.

“If people have a concern, let them bring in a license (plate) number and I’m sure (County Administrator) Mr. (Mike) Johnson will have it checked,” West said.

Newsoms District Supervisor Glenn Updike said he received reports that North Carolina residents are using the dumpsites on Statesville Road in Newsoms and on Monroe Road in Monroe.

“We need to do a better job of policing this,” Updike said. “Also, attendants aren’t helping the elderly and disabled.”

A North Carolina license plate number for a driver using a dumpsite was recently turned into county officials. Johnson determined the person was a resident of Southampton Meadows Mobile Home Park on Route 258 who had borrowed the vehicle from a relative in North Carolina.

He also noted that when the county in 2006 created attendant positions at dumpsites, their job description including policing, not helping residents with their garbage.

Dumpsites also were fenced in to keep non-residents from using the sites and eliminating 24-hour dumping. In 2005, the dumpsites took in a monthly average of 1,452 tons of garbage. Today that average is 732 tons a month.

West suggested creating a citizens’ advisory committee to study possible problems at dumpsites. Dreweyville District Supervisor Dallas Jones and Boykins/Branchville District Supervisor Carl Faison didn’t think it was necessary.

“My district isn’t broke,” Jones said.

“I don’t have a problem (in my district),” Faison added.

“This has all of the features of a make-work committee and I don’t think it will be beneficial, setting up a bureaucratic structure,” said Franklin District Supervisor Barry Porter.

The board deadlocked 3-3 for forming the citizens’ advisory committed before Jones voted “no” to break the tie.