County officials put illegal dumping in crosshairs
Wheeless: ‘ We’re not going to allow you to dump in the county’
Crittenden County is cracking down on illegal dumping.
An Earle trucking company owner found himself in hot water recently for illegally dumping debris from a fire in Earle which he was contracted to remove.
“I’ve let these people know that as county judge, we’re not going to allow you to dump in the county,” County Judge Woody Wheeless said. “We get illegal dumps all the time.
But we’re going to catch you and make you clean it up.”
Charles Brown of Earle was caught dumping loads of debris from a fire in Earle along the side of the road on Hwy 149 near the George Berry Washington “Angel in the Thorn Patch” memorial.
Brown was fined $500 by Judge Fred Thorne and given until April 13 to remove the debris or else face a $5,000 fine and 180 days in jail.
“He was dumping it along the river bank,” Wheeless said. “We went out there and there were nine loads that had been dumped.
Every bit of it came from that Earle fire. We went out the next Monday and there were 15 loads there. So he had dumped six more loads after he was issued a citation.”
This isn’t the first time Brown has been cited for illegal dumping.
“We got on to him a year ago for dumping in the same place,” Wheeless said. “We told him he couldn’t do it. Then he wanted to tell me that he was authorized by the property owner to do it. When we got him this time I point blank asked him to tell me who the property owner is because I know the owner didn’t know about it. We didn’t give him a warning this time.”
Another trucking company owner, Hubert Franks of Marion, was also cited for illegal dumping.
Wheeless said Franks was caught dumping debris twice — the first time off Gammon Road, and the second time off South Airport
Franks was issued a warning for the first incident and required to remove the debris. The second time he was fined $500 and also required to clean up the property.
“The property owner called us and told us somebody was dumping on their property and they hadn’t given them permission,” Wheeless said. “We gave him a citation and the judge told him to clean it up, which he did. We made him bring us receipts where he had taken it to the landfill.
Well, he went out and dumped it in another area.” Wheeless said it is against the law to dump material anywhere in the county or on private property.
“They can’t just go out and create a dump site,” Wheeless said. “It is against the law to go out and dump. It is also against the law for a property owner to give permission to dump on your property You can be held liable for it because it is an illegal dump site.”
By Mark Randall