Judge Shane Gabbard

Judge Gabbard facilitates the fiscal court meeting explaining the proposed uses for some of the American Rescue Act Funds

As we begin the new Fiscal Year, a lot of things lie ahead for the Fiscal Court. The first thing we have in front of us is the situation with household trash pickup in the County. A few weeks ago, the owner of Woods Sanitation came in and informed me that they would be stopping trash service in Jackson County. Several things factored into the decision to discontinue service here, but mainly the fact that he could not retain or find employees for his company. Mr. Woods informed us that he would continue residential pickup for households until July 29, 2021. Woods Sanitation has a very large customer base in Jackson County so this presented a challenge on how we would serve the customers that Woods Sanitation had here. Immediately after we received notice from Woods Sanitation that they were stopping service, I contacted our Solid Waste Coordinator, Jason Thomas, and he started the conversation with companies already working in Jackson County about the open route. Waste Connections was already providing large dumpster services for several businesses and housing complexes in many areas of the Counties so they are looking into taking over the dumpster service. Davidson Sanitation, a local owned and operated trash service, has expressed interest in taking over the household service. Davidson already has 900 customers in Jackson County and feel they can service the rest with the proper equipment. They are currently trying to purchase trucks to provide that service. If all goes well, we shouldn’t see any lapse in service. I am asking everyone to be patient and assured that they will have trash service in Jackson County. We will be sending out a letter very soon with information about how to obtain service from Davidson Sanitation or Waste Connections for those who were customers of Woods Sanitation. I realize that many people are confused and concerned that they won’t have trash service but we are working daily to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. 

 I feel this would also be a good time to remind everyone that we do have a Solid Waste ordinance in place in Jackson County. This ordinance was put into place in 1999 and requires every household to be signed up with the hauler that is provided in their area or as a self-hauler taking their own trash to the transfer station. If a household or business becomes non-compliant, then a warning or citation will be issued. If you are issued a citation for being non-compliant, then you will have to appear in Court. The minimum fine is $25 and maximum fine is $500 as defined by ordinance if pronounced by the presiding Judge looking at the citation. I feel this would be a good time for the Fiscal Court to think about raising those fine amounts. We need to make a statement that we are serious about the trash situation in Jackson County and we want everyone to be compliant to help keep our County clean. This problem has gone to far and we have an opportunity now to begin to correct it. After dealing with a pandemic for 16 months I believe the majority of our citizens are ready to see our communities clean up. 

 Since we have so many citizens interested in seeing our County cleaned up, I feel it maybe a good time to have another Community Pride meeting. I will try to put this meeting together for Tuesday August 3, 2021. We will try to start around 6:00 pm and have it at the old Courthouse in the upstairs Courtroom.  I will have copies of our current solid waste ordinance on hand and some examples of nuisance ordinances from other communities for us to discuss. Several citizens have expressed interest in having our own nuisance ordinance in place so we can address the clutter and general junk in some areas of our County. We are in no way trying to tell people how to live but are rather looking at ways to make our community more appealing and welcoming. This could also be a way for us to help people dispose of things they have had a hard time disposing of. I believe this Fiscal Year hold a lot of opportunity for us if we approach it with the right attitude and effort. 

Have a blessed week.         

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