Tires pile up mountain of problems - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Tires pile up mountain of problems

April 14, 2004

Dawson-- You've likely seen the television Public Service Ads about cleaning up Terrell County.

Code enforcers have picked up tons of illegally dumped tires. But now, they've created their own mess, of sorts.

The topography of Terrell County is not exactly hilly, but behind the Terrell County Recreation Park is a mountain of tires that is growing each week. And guess who is responsible for all these tires? The government.

There are smaller tires for cars to larger tires for tractors, "To dispose of this tire would cost over $100.00 at a disposal facility," says Terrell County Code Enforcement Officer Martha Ann Coe.

Each one of these tires in this two story pile was illegally dumped. "These tires are a collection of tires that have mostly been deposited in our dumpsites."

There are 300 tons of tires here-- and with cobwebs in some places and enormous weeds poking through, it's easy to tell these tires have been here for awhile.

County Code Enforcement Officer Coe admits the mountain of tires is an eyesore, but says the county has been making efforts to stop illegal dumping, like offering an amnesty day last year for people to drop off their tires for free, "They could bring their tires at no charge that day to help especially with West Nile Virus to help especially with those tires holding water and collect them here in one spot so we can dispose of them."

With rain water collecting in these tires, what was suppose to be a help could become a health hazard come mosquito season-- especially with the Terrell County baseball fields less than a hundred yards away, "The recreation field is close and we have children and adults both there and we certainly do not want anybody to get ill health from what is here."

The county is waiting on a state grant to pay the $30,000 dollars it will take to remove these tires, "We did lose a few horses here the year before last due to West Nile, so my office and the Board of Commissioners are working just as hard as we can to get rid of these."

As soon as the county gets the $30,000 dollar state grant, the tires will be removed. But, it will probably take several months to clean it up. Of course, the county hasn't yet gotten word if they will receive the money.

In the meantime, the county plans to protect people from mosquito born illnesses, like West Nile Virus, by spraying the area for mosquitos.

To prevent future build-up of tires, Code Enforcement Officer Martha Ann Coe says she plans to install an enclosed holding area for the tires, like a trailer.

Posted at 3:38 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com

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