TICK LICK – A Magoffin County resident visited the Magoffin County judge/executive’s office on Friday with some mail found at the site of a recently cleaned previous garbage dump, where it appeared someone had illegally dumped of what officials called “a houseful” of garbage on Tick Lick.
Magoffin County Judge/Executive Matt Wireman told Mortimer Media Group, “The letters were actually very, very old. They were postmarked 1965, which based on the items that were thrown there, it appears someone probably cleaned out an old house somewhere and we’re trying to identify that now. This resident was very concerned over the work that we’ve done getting that road cleaned up. We’ve actually had a couple of the grants to clean dumps up were on that road. We’ve taken prisons there to clean up that road. Tick Lick is an isolated road and it’s just a couple pickup truck loads of old items, furniture and clothing out of someone’s home. We’re trying to locate where that home is now based on the old mail that we found, given that it was on the Magoffin/Johnson line and the dump is on the Johnson County side of the road.”
Wireman said on Friday afternoon that he has contacted the Johnson County Sheriff Department and Johnson County Judge and they are sending people to check out the dump and see if they can identify where it came from.
After years of work and thousands of dollars spent to clean up these dumps time and time, again, Wireman told Mortimer Media Group that the senseless act of illegally dumping garbage is extremely frustrating.
“During the winter months, the thing that we’ve been doing with the inmates is doing roadside pickups and we’re trying to go along all the major routes where a lot of the garbage is,” Wireman said. “In particular, we’ve cleaned one of these stretches of road, particularly on 404 at the Magoffin/Floyd line, we cleaned a dump up there with the prisoners and a couple days later I’ve got my uncles calling and people who live out that way saying they were already throwing bags of garbage out up here and I just don’t get it.”
Wireman explained that when they accepted the new contract with Rumpke a couple years ago, the price was reduced for residents by nearly $5 a month, in hopes more people would utilize the service.
“All you got to do is set it out and we’ll pick it up. It’s not real hard to do, but for whatever reason folks feel the need. It’s not everyone. Most people don’t like seeing that, but there’s a select group of people that feel like they need to throw things out the window. We’ve done stretches of road, one place in particular the Elk Creek Hill, where there were over 140 bags of garbage picked up along that stretch of road and a lot of it is fast food items, but as soon as we got it picked up, it looked really good for a day or two, and then the same thing. The same thing is going on at the Ivyton Hill, the Minix Curve on Rt. 7. It’s like we know how long it takes to drink a pop and eat a hamburger because once they get that far along it goes out the window. We can do better than that. There’s no sense in it.”
Wireman noted that illegal dumping is taking up valuable county resources and creating an uphill battle for economic development.
“I’d like to be doing other things with the prisoners than just picking up garbage. People come from out of town and we’re trying to promote our community for economic development and for tourism, and if they come and see trash laying everywhere, it’s very disheartening.”
Wireman said they are doing what they can to find the offenders, placing cameras at several known dumpsites noting they will prosecute individuals caught illegally dumping garbage in the community.
“Catching people is the hard part,” Wireman said. “We’ve got to self-police. If you see people throwing stuff out or you know they’re throwing stuff out, let us know, and if we can prove it, we don’t care a bit to take it on. I don’t. This is one of those things where it’s not a political issue. It’s the right thing to do. Trash is trash and it needs to go to the right place – not beside the road or in people’s yards. It’s high time we grew up as a community and we don’t do those things.”
Shortly after the story about the illegal dump aired on Your News Today on April 8, the tones went off at dispatch reporting a brush fire on Tick Lick at a dump. The Magoffin County judge/executive’s office is still working with the Johnson County Sheriff Department, handing over items collected, to continue the investigation.