Waynesboro Commission Discusses Dumping of Brush and Construction Materials

A Waynesboro city maintenance crew, along with a lot of help from the County Jail inmate crew, began work last week at the creek running alongside the Waynesboro City Park. The crew cleaned up the banks beside the creek, removing brush and debris, making the area look much better along with making it more accessible.

   The Waynesboro City Commission met in regular session on Monday, October 12th, 2020 at City Hall in Waynesboro. Commissioners present were Mayor Chris Bevis, Vice Mayor Jeff Davis, Commissioner Jeff Howell, and Commissioner Tony Creasy. Also in attendance were City Manager John Hickman, City Attorney Josh Polk, and City Recorder Paige Jackson. Commissioner Lynn Warren was absent.

   Mayor Bevis called the meeting to order, and City Manager Hickman offered the invocation.

   Commissioner Creasy made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Howell, and the minutes were unanimously approved.

   City Manager Hickman then distributed the monthly cash collateral statements and investment reports for the commissioners’ review. He noted that the lowering of interest rates by the government had affected the city’s investment returns, but things are still looking to be in good shape at this time.

   With no items of new business on the agenda, the meeting moved on to “Citizens to Address the Commission.” Ronnie Prater, a resident of Moore Street in Waynesboro, addressed the commission regarding the growing problem of trash and unsightly items at other residences and lots on both Moore Street and Stockard Street, near his mother’s home. City Manager Hickman distributed copies of the City Ordinance pertaining to this issue to all the commissioners for their further review. Mr. Prater said that the garbage problem was not only unsightly, but had caused an increase in pest and rodent activity in the whole neighborhood. Police Chief Walter Smith said that he had recently had a conversation with the owner of the lot on Stockard Street, and the property owner will soon be moving the mobile home frame that he has parked on his lot. City Manager Hickman commented that there had been problems before at the residence on Moore Street that Mr. Prater complained about, and he said that he would send someone to check on it.

   Under open items on the agenda, Commissioner Howell brought up a topic that led to a lengthy discussion. The County Commission recently voted to begin charging a fee at the solid waste facility for the dumping of construction and demolition materials, and all of the City Commissioners agreed that this will inevitably cause a problem with illegal dumping around the city and county of these materials. Commissioner Howell and City Manager Hickman both said that some construction materials had already been dumped illegally in dumpsters around town, and many people are complaining about not being able to dispose of their brush and other yard debris without having to pay a considerable fee. Mayor Bevis pointed out that there is no burn ordinance in the city of Waynesboro, and that residents may want to consider burning their debris when possible. City Manager Hickman said that the only two rules for burning in the city are that you must have a water source available, and you must tend to the fire the entire time it is ablaze. Mayor Bevis also suggested that all the cities in the county, along with the county itself, should consider providing a designated dump site for their citizens.

   Commissioner Creasy said that a resident on South Main Street had complained about sewage backing up into his home. City Manager Hickman said that he would have that checked out. Commissioner Creasy also asked about the status of the painting project at the water tank on Clifton Turnpike, and City Manager Hickman said that he was in the process of getting a quote.

   Commissioner Creasy then inquired about the plaque honoring the late former mayor Robert Vencion that was previously installed on the helipad at Wayne Medical Center. He said that the plaque was taken down when some brick work was done on the helipad, and the family said that they would like to see the plaque re-installed. City Manager Hickman said that someone should contact Tyler Taylor, the administrator at the hospital.

   Commissioner Davis said that in regard to the enforcement of the city ordinance concerning garbage and unsightly debris at homes and property in the city, the ordinance will have to be enforced across the board, and all who are not in compliance will need to be notified. City Attorney Polk voiced his agreement as well.

   Mayor Bevis then brought up the City Park, stating that the older stage at the park is in a state of disrepair and needs to be re-done. City Manager Hickman said that a crew would be going to work at the park the following day, and lots of cleanup and repairs would be taking place that will make the park look much better.

   With no further business to come before the commission, Commissioner Creasy made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Howell seconded the motion, and the meeting was adjourned.