Oct. 27—The cost of a new couch may be the same as the fine for those people caught leaving unwanted furniture and other items in county ditches.
During the Union County Board of Supervisors meeting Monday, supervisors reviewed a proposed ordinance that would penalize people who are caught leaving discarded items in the county ditches. For an extended amount of time, county officials have noticed, and removed, items ranging from furniture, appliances and household trash from county right of way. No action was taken by the board.
With evidence and due process, the first violation will be a $1,000 fine. Second and third violations will have $1,000 increments.
“It should be a hefty fine, so the public see that is in place,” said Supervisor Rick Friday.
Jail time is still possible with legal action.
Union County Attorney Shane O'Toole said the ordinance still needs some sort of enforcement procedure. He said residents are able to make a written statement for law enforcement stating how they witnessed a person leaving items along the road or in a ditch. The statement typically includes who the suspect is based on possibly knowing the suspect or identifying the suspect's vehicle.
While reviewing other Iowa counties for similar ordinances, Union County Attorney Shane O'Toole said he noticed how some counties use public outreach efforts to curb unwanted littering and dumping. Some counties have simple art projects for school children that encourage them not to litter and to share with their parents. Some counties offer certain days during year with discounted landfill fees so people can property discard those items.
“Convince them through personal persuasion not to litter,” O'Toole said. “Get people to start caring about their neighborhoods.”
Union County Secondary Roads have spent about $10,000 a year cleaning up those items founds in ditches and roads.
Supervisors requested the input from the Civil Service Commission before taking action on a sheriff deputy applicant explained by Sheriff Mark Shepherd.
Shepherd said the applicant is experienced with municipal police and a county jail operation. The applicant is familiar with Union County as he has hunted in and fished the area. The commission reviews all applicants for public positions.
In other county news…
Supervisors accepted the resignation of Sharon Bennett as Douglas Township clerk effective immediately. Supervisors will contact other Douglas Township officials to find her replacement.Internet Explorer Channel Network