Lamar Co. supervisors deny 7 of 8 garbage variance requests

By HASKEL BURNS,

The Lamar County Board of Supervisors once again entertained requests for variances on the county’s new garbage ordinance that would discontinue garbage pickup at certain duplexes in the county, voting during last week’s board meeting to deny seven variations while approving one.

Owners of the properties denied variances are allowed 120 days from Sept. 20 to begin paying for their own garbage disposal, including renting individual Dumpsters for duplexes that are adjacent to other multi-family residences. Those properties include:

• 76 Hanberry Road

• 38-49 and 42-22 Anne Street

• 80 Windridge A and B

• 168 North Windridge Lane

• 154 North Windridge Lane

• 3 Center Windridge East

• 1 Center Windridge West

“I think the board has been diligent in getting to the right answers, and they’ve taken their time to make sure they make a right decision on those,” Lamar County Administrator Jody Waits said. “Ultimately they do want a cleaner county, and they want whatever garbage service is provided to be done in a safe manner.

“So I think they’ve done a good job in reaching those conclusions and decisions.”

The one request for variance approved is a development at 1-3 and 5-7 Sheri Drive.

“There’s just no space there for (the owner) to accommodate this ordinance,” District 1 Supervisor Steve Lampton said.

The county currently handles garbage pickup at multi-family housing units, but supervisors recently voted to accept the new ordinance after approving new automated garbage trucks. The ordinance was accepted July 2 by a 3-2 vote, with Board President Joe Bounds and District 5 Supervisor Dale Lucus dissenting.

Waits said despite the pushback from some property owners, the goal of the ordinance is to clean up some multi-family housing units that had become problematic around the county. He said the county’s current method of pickup does help to clean up the county, but it can become problematic for rear-loading garbage trucks – or even an automated system – to pick up hundreds of garbage cans in one location.

“We’ve got large apartment complexes and duplex developments that have a large amount of trash cans around them, and the trash is spilled everywhere and all over the streets,” Waits said in a previous story. “It just became a nuisance, so the board passed the ordinance.

“With all those cans sitting there, it’s more apt for trash to get everywhere. So most communities, most counties, most cities, require most commercial and multi-family housing to provide their own sanitation by way of Dumpsters – it’s a cleaner, better way to do it.”

Additional property owners who would be affected by the ordinance are able to file requests for variations at any time in the future.

“As long as there’s an ordinance, there is a process for someone to say they need to take exception to it,” Waits said. “So we may still have a few more.

“And obviously, their actions set precedents in the future – if any of these areas come up, (supervisors) will have to look back and say “Okay, did we give your neighbor an exception or deny them?’ Then the same thought process would probably apply to similar settings.”

At the Sept. 4 board meeting, supervisors voted to approved eight, denied six and took five under advisement.

The board’s next meeting will be at 9 a.m. Oct. 1 at the Pete Gamble Chancery Courthouse, 403 Main Street in Purvis.

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