Littering got a lot riskier Monday when Pike County supervisors upped the fine from $250 to $750.
The action came after a depressing report from the annual litter index, which showed the problem is worse than it’s been in years.
Supervisors had asked the sheriff’s office to recommend a higher fine, and on Monday chief deputy Brad Bellipanni did just that.
Bellipanni said state law calls for a fine ranging from $50 to $250. He said towns and counties can pass their own ordinances with higher fines and recommended a range of $500 to $750.
Supervisor Jake Gazzo suggested setting the fine at $750, period. The board agreed unanimously to amend their ordinance to that effect.
“I think it’s time we take a stand on littering in Pike County,” Gazzo said after the meeting.
Supervisors said they’ve been bombarded with complaints about litter.
“We need to do something about it, and raising the fine is a way to do that,” said board president Robert Accardo.
Supervisor Tazwell Bowsky suggested using a portion of the fines to place hidden cameras at problem sites.
Supervisor Lee Fortenberry said road superintendent Wendell Alexander will need to put up new signs showing the higher fine.
Accardo also reminded citizens they can take their trash to the dry landfill on Highway 48 East, Magnolia, and drop “white goods” — old appliances — at the county road barn on Highway 51 North, Magnolia.
Clean air consultants
In another matter, Dr. Paul and Betsy Moore Nelson of Oxford made a presentation on behalf of their company, Shared Air Solutions Consulting.
Dr. Nelson said he has access to a board of experts to help provide complete protection against COVID-19, flu and other diseases in government building using “active pathogen scavenging” through a “photo-catalytic process.”
“You tell us what your budget is and what you’re trying to protect, what buildings to protect. We’ll come back with a proposal,” he said.
The firm charges a set-up fee, travel expenses and percentage of the budgeted amount. It will conduct a study and recommend whom to contact, what vendors to use, and what areas are at highest risk.
Sonny Dillon commended
In other business, supervisors:
• Agreed to pass a resolution commending the life and service of the late Craft Funeral Home owner Luzern “Sonny” Dillon, who died March 8 at 72. “He was a gentleman’s gentleman,” Accardo said. “It was an honor to know him and serve with him in the McComb Rotary Club. This world needs a few more Sonny Dillons.”
• Ratified a countywide burn ban in effect from March 8-31. Civil Defense Director Richard Coghlan said he may lift the ban at the end of this week if the area gets enough rain.
• Approved a resolution asking the governor to proclaim a state of emergency for the winter storm in mid-February.
• Noted the promotion of Bena Jones to lieutenant in the sheriff’s department and the resignations of sheriff’s employees Jason Blake and Timothy Moore.
• Approved payment of Neel-Schaffer invoices for December totaling $16,643.
• Voted 4-1 to pay Neel-Schaffer $9,125 and Wilco Inc. $191,265 for work on the Bogue Chitto River bank stabilization project at Holmesville. Bowsky opposed.
• Approved travel advances for tax assessor employees Lisa Hutchison and Christina Byrd to attend two week-long conferences at Starkville in May. Each will get an advance of $561 per conference.
• Authorized Magnolia Electric Power Association to work on a power line at the Friendship Fire Department.
• Renewed an agreement with Diversified Companies LLC to print garbage bill notices.
• Agreed to buy a $250 ad in the Enterprise-Journal Pulse magazine spring issue.