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Supervisors Launch Anti-Litter Campaign

By David Howell

Editor


COFFEEVILLE – Supervisors have launched an anti-litter campaign with an initial appropriation of $10,000 to combat the longstanding littering problem in the county.  Using the slogan, Yalobusha Clean, the goal is to promote the campaign with social and print media, road signs and other marketing material. 

The unanimous vote to fund the campaign at last Tuesday’s supervisor meeting follows months of discussion about the persistent litter problem in the county. While much of the discussion in recent meetings about the problem has centered on enforcement, the main purpose of Yalobusha Clean will be to promote a cleanup effort with an ultimate goal to change the mindset of people who litter. 

“This is just the very beginning, we have to show people that we care,” District 3 Supervisor Lee McMinn explained in the meeting. McMinn cited examples including promoting efforts already underway by people in the county who clean up their roads and to encourage more residents to get involved. 

“I have talked to several people on some of my roads who are willing to take the lead on being in charge of their roads. They are already picking up trash and I know y’all have people who pick up in your districts,” McMinn added. 

Among ideas cited were to put up signs on county roads identifying individuals who are coordinating cleanup efforts in their neighborhoods, similar to the Adopt-A-Highway program used by the Mississippi Department of Transportation. Ideas also included starting a Yalobusha Clean Facebook page that would promote the work of volunteers with photos of trash they have collected. The page could also be used to tag illegal dumpsites and problematic areas in the county to increase public awareness. 

McMinn said one group of volunteers who regularly ride in the lake area have already started picking up trash.

“Jay Tucker’s group, there is a big group of them and about 50 or 60 of them were very actively participating in this,” McMinn said. “They want get banners printed up and build a Christmas float and ride it in the Christmas parade. This is the kind of support we are going to get. They are sending a good message and this shows our support for them,” McMinn said about the group. 

The seed money appropriated at last week’s meeting could also be earmarked to pay for banners, stickers and coffee mugs as well as literature that could be distributed in the schools in the county. 

“We can say we are willing to throw some money at this and some organizational effort and get it set up and I think the folks will take it on and it will continue to grow – a sense of pride,” McMinn said.

“I am in favor of allocating some resources at it too, $5,000 seems like a lot of money but it’s not,” Board President Cayce Washing-ton said after an initial figure of $5,000 was discussed to fund the campaign. 

“We can well afford $5,000 to clean up our county, that is a drop in the bucket,” McMinn said.

“We can’t do it without the people,” District 5 Supervisor Gaylon Gray agreed.

“Are we prepared today to adopt this?” Washington asked.

“I would love to get this thing rolling. Right now is prime time, the leaves are off the trees and the grass is dead. I would like to make the motion that we appropriate $10,000 in a budget line item for the purpose of starting and maintaining a countywide cleanup effort,” McMinn said before the unanimous vote in favor of the proposal.

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