Council committee wants alterations to illegal dumping measure

The Pine Bluff City Council’s Public Health and Welfare Committee voted Thursday to recommend the full council’s rejection of an illegal dumping ordinance proposed by Alderman Steven Mays.

The measure, which received its first reading at the March 18 council meeting, will be on the agenda for the Monday, April 1, session. It calls for increased monitoring of sites used for illegal dumping, and creating an account to be managed by the finance department for purchase of video equipment to monitor sites.

Committee member Alderman Glen Brown said he “applauds” Mays for the measure because they both have experienced illegal dumping in their wards and share a desire to put an end to the problem. But Brown believes Mays’ legislation is too “wordy” and “vague” to work.

“It needs to be simplified,” said Brown, who noted his support of placing cameras at some dumping sites to help identify offenders.

Mayor Debe Hollingsworth attended the meeting and told the committee that an added reason behind Mays’ introduction of the bill is that some landfills are increasing their fees and it’s anticipated that incidents of illegal dumping will rise.

Alderman Lloyd Holcomb, who chairs the committee, echoed Brown in saying he “has trouble” with some wording within the proposal and thinking the legislation may “cross lines” with current authority and duties of Waste Management Inc. and Pine Bluff Wastewater Utility.

Committee member Alderwoman Thelma Walker moved for the measure’s rejection. Brown seconded the motion, but said he thinks a revised measure could be recommended for adoption by the full council.