Anti-dumping measure set for possible council vote

An ordinance submitted by Fourth Ward Alderman Steven Mays to increase the pressure on illegal dumping in the city is up for a third and final reading at Monday meeting of the Pine Bluff City Council after being recommended for approval by the Public Health and Welfare Committee.

“The committee approved the resolution for a do pass,” Mays said Friday.

Mays said a member of the Westside Loop Neighborhood Watch Association spoke in support of the proposed ordinance at the Committee meeting.

“This resolution is for the positive future of the whole city,” Mays said. “It is time that we got a handle on the problem of illegal dumping in our community. I feel that this ordinance would do that.”

The ordinance states that it is intended to discourage the unlawful discarding or dumping of solid waste in the city while complementing existing state and local laws on the subject.

A person convicted of violating the provisions of the ordinance would be fined $100 for the first offense; fined between $250 and $500 for a second offense; and fined between $500 and $1,000 or incarcerated in the Jefferson County Detention Center for no more than 48 hours, or both, for a third or more offense.

In addition, the District Court could add or substitute the performance by the offender of up to 15 days of community service engaged in trash pickup.

Mays said he has pulled another proposed ordinance that would set penalties for landlords who rent or lease substandard residences. That proposal had been set for its third and final reading.

“I pulled it for the time being so that interested parties can continue to work with me to create a workable law,” Mays said. “I have met with the Jefferson County Landlord Association and they have helped me to rewrite it. Something needs to be done about substandard housing and I would say 80 percent of this city’s landlords feel like something needs to be done.”

Mays is introducing an ordinance for the first reading that would see the creation of the Pine Bluff Tree Board to promote the responsible planting of trees on public property, public education about trees and the promotion of proper tree maintenance.

Mays calls for seven members of the board with a minimum of five members residing in Pine Bluff to be appointed by the mayor and the City Council; and a maximum of two members who may be non-resident tree experts and are ineligible to become officers.

The council will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday in council chambers at the Pine Bluff Civic Center.