Letter: Clements calls out litterers who cost taxpayers
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - 3:32pm
Having noticed the excellent grass mowing, trimming, trash removal, etc. on Federal and State Routes which has been contracted to commercial entities for the last couple of years brings to question how much this is costing the taxpayers (you and me) as opposed to days past when this was done by state employees.
There leaves little room for improvement in these areas and from what I can determine it relieves the state of having to staff and provide the necessary equipment year round for a seasonal activity. Of course the Feds pay for this on federal routes but that too is taxpayer funds. Either way it presents a very attractive roadway enhancement and I suppose it would be useless to expect or even hope for those who consider these roadways their personal garbage disposal areas to stop their contributions.
My suggestions would include more diligent enforcement of our littering laws, raising the fines and even jail time for repeat offenders. A standard punishment should require offenders to remove and properly dispose of all trash for at least a mile and keep it clean for a minimum of three consecutive days. I noticed on occasions that some litterers were contributing their litter only short distances behind the mowing and trimming activities. Offenders would be required to provide a vehicle with flashing lights and signs to ensure safety.
This is a very disgusting situation especially considering the cost and the apparent total disregard and lack of concern by the litterers.
Yet another concern is the fact that I see, on a regular basis, inmates, city employees, lawn care employees and possibly some residents (if anyone still cuts their own grass) with leaf blowers blowing the cuttings of grass, weeds,shrubbery, even trash, into the roadway curb and gutters and then blowing whatever is accumulated (sometimes trash, leaves,etc.) into the openings of the roadway drainage structures. Surely some of these people or their supervisors, know this is definitely a No-No.
In adjoining counties such as Richmond and Columbia, such activities will get you a nice fat fine and a job of removing your debris and all other debris that it takes to clear these drainage structures and outlet pipes. You can tell some existing structures are at least partially blocked because when it rains they back up rather quickly and overflow into the streets causing excess water to seek other means of outfall thereby overloading downstream drainage structures.
I believe the state is responsible for maintenance of these structures on all state routes and federal routes so turning a blind eye to these type activities is coming out of all taxpayers pockets, not just Louisville taxpayers pockets. It should also be noted that City of Louisville employees pick up leaves, limbs, weeds, etc. in an open, uncovered truck and drive all over town with leaves, etc. blowing off the truck. This contributes to a situation similar to the litterers throwing trash out behind the excellent mowing and cleaning of the State and Federal Routes. It is illegal to not have a load covered when your cargo is subject to being dislodged from your vehicle. To my knowledge The City of Louisville has no truck/trailer covers as required by the law.