Local News

May 10, 2014

Whitfield officials waiting on state to clean up tire dump

No one knew what was happening behind the wooden fence at the property in the 3500 block of Lake Kathy Road in Tunnel Hill until some people working nearby started to complain last July.

“They were putting in a new electrical substation, and they were just getting eaten up by mosquitos,” said Norman Barashick, executive director of the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Management Authority.

“They started complaining. I believe some of the people who started complaining called county commissioners,” he said.

Barashick and officials from the Whitfield County zoning department and the Whitfield County Fire Department found a massive number of tires had been stacked up on the property, which filled with water when it rained and became a breeding ground for mosquitos.

“The gentleman who owned the property had set himself up in a tire transport business,” Barashick said. “That requires a permit by the state of Georgia, and he got that permit. But he wasn’t operating correctly. He thought that by having that permit he was allowed to store and sort through the tires. He wasn’t. He needed an additional permit for that, which he didn’t have.”

Barashick said the man planned to sort through the tires hoping to find ones in good enough condition to sell.

“But he couldn’t do that, and in just six months he was able to accumulate what we are estimating is around 7,000 tires,” Barashick said.

Barashick said they were able to convince the man, whom he says has since moved out of Whitfield County, to give up his license and leave the tire transportation business. But that still left thousands of tires on the property, which will continue to fill with water when it rains.

“It’s the state that issues the permit, and it was the state permit that he was in violation of, so we turned it over to the state,” Barashick said. “When he forfeited his license, he also forfeited a $10,000 bond. The state not only has the bond money, it has money from the solid waste trust fund. Anytime someone buys a new tire in the state of Georgia they pay a fee of $1 to the state. The state is supposed to use that to clean up illegal tire dumps. The problem is that for the last decade or so the state has redirected much of that money to the general fund and not used it the way it is supposed to be used.”

According to data from the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, the state “redirected” $37.6 million, or 65 percent of all money collected for the solid waste trust fund, between 2004 and 2012.

Officials with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) did not immediately return a telephone message about the site Friday afternoon, but Barashick said the last conversation he had with the EPD was a few weeks ago.

“They said they hope to have a cleanup contractor by the end of the second quarter, so by June or July we might see some activity up there,” he said.

By that time, mosquito season will be well underway.

“It’s already started. We’ve been getting calls since March and April from people about water building up and mosquitos breeding,” Barashick said.

Barashick said he has asked EPD to include mosquito control in its efforts to clean up the site.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Bugs and Kisses 1 mlh.jpg Local stores expect tax holiday to create lots of sales

    Local retailers say Georgia’s sales tax holiday weekends mean big business for them, and they are gearing up to capitalize on this year’s tax-free shopping on Friday and Saturday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Esme file mw 2.jpg Still fighting

    Ten-year-old Esme Miller was celebrated earlier this year for the way she’s handled a bout with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Historical photos of Murray County needed

    Maybe you have a photograph of a well-known preacher from the 1940s. Or maybe you have a photograph taken of a church choir from the 1920s.

    July 30, 2014

  • State DOT wants your input on transportation needs

    As state and national leaders consider alternatives for funding future transportation needs, the Georgia Department of Transportation wants to know what Georgians would like in their 21st century transportation system and how they recommend paying for it.

    July 30, 2014

  • Jail for Justice Tour event here tonight

    The Moral Monday Georgia Coalition, the NAACP-led multi-racial, multi-issue advocacy group, will host an event in partnership with the Georgia Dreamers Alliance, Coalition of Latino Leaders (CLILA), Whitfield NAACP and the Whitfield County Democratic Party at Dalton’s Mack Gaston Community Center tonight from 5 to 9.

    July 30, 2014

  • Two charged with tampering with evidence in drug investigation

    Two people have been arrested and charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the synthetic marijuana bust in February involving a Dalton business owner.

    July 30, 2014

  • Beaulieu to close operations for one week for inventory

    Floorcovering giant Beaulieu of America will conduct a physical inventory of its buildings and facilities next week, with only salaried employees reporting for work.

    July 30, 2014

  • Green spot closing 1 mlh.jpg A part of the family

    Larry Green can’t remember the exact date. But he says it was about 54 years ago when his father Marvin took him to see the new store he and his brother Herman had commissioned Red Jennings to build at 309 W. Emery St. in Dalton.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • New high school?

    The only means for “staying small” and preserving “The Dalton Way” in Dalton Public Schools may be through expansion, Superintendent Jim Hawkins said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Bond denied for man arrested in synthetic marijuana bust

    A Dalton business owner charged in a synthetic marijuana bust was denied bond Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014