County gets grant to clean up five illegal dump sites
Hundreds of tires are piled up in this illegal dump site off Maynor Street in Corbin. It is one of five Whitley County has received grant funds for to clean up this year.
Five Whitley County illegal dumps, including one discovered in late 2011 inside the Corbin city limits, will be cleaned up this year thanks in part to $137,777.08 in grant money from the Kentucky Pride Fund.
"I am pleased Whitley County received this grant money," said Whitley County Judge Executive Pat White, Jr. "These illegal dumps are not only an eyesore, but a public health risk. This funding will go a long way to helping us keep our county clean."
Whitley County Project Development Director Amber Owens said that the grant funds will be used to clean-up three dumps on the south end of the county, including the Ramsey dump at the end of Highway 2998, a roadside dump on US25W and one of Kenny Bug Road.
A fourth dump will be cleaned up along old Highway 92, which is also known as Highway 2792.
The fifth dump is one in Corbin off Maynor Street that also goes up the hillside to Bishop Street, Owens said.
Bishop Street resident Dennie Comer was doing a good deed for a neighbor in December 2011 when he discovered the dump in a gully only about 20 yards from his home.
Comer said he was picking up trash around his neighbor's house when he spotted some tires through the trees. Closer inspection revealed a well-concealed problem that was much bigger than he first imagined.
"I thought, whoa! That's a pretty big dump to be right in the middle of Corbin," Comer said. "I was kind of surprised I was living so close to it and never really knew anything about it."
Hundreds of old tires and some other refuse like small appliances and trash is piled into the gully which runs from an auxiliary parking lot across the street from Doctor's Park all the way to Maynor Street below.
Owens said that many of the dumps on this year's clean-up list are located in residential areas.
"We look forward to getting these neighborhoods cleaned up," she said. "Some of these dumps have been around for several years.
"Illegal dumps like these are costly to clean, so without help from the state, cleaning them would be a financial strain for the county."
White added that there has been a decrease in the size and number of dumps over the past few years.
He attributes the decrease at least in part to the county's 'Dumpster Days' program that was implemented several years ago.
Gov. Steve Beshear announced last month that approximately $2.1 million in grant funding had been awarded by the Kentucky Pride Fund for cleanup of 172 illegal dumps in 26 counties across the Commonwealth.
"Illegal dumping is a major problem that raises significant concerns with regard to safety, property values and quality of life in our communities," Beshear said. "Cleaning up dump sites also is an economic burden on our local governments. These grants offer local communities funding relief to their tight budgets."
As part of the grant funding, counties must agree to provide a 25 percent match when it costs less than $50,000 to cleanup an individual, illegal open dump. The Energy and Environment Cabinet may waive the 25 percent match on any individual illegal open dump costing more than $50,000 to remediate.
The Division of Waste Management administers the Kentucky Pride Fund to clean up county dumpsites. Funding for the program comes from a $1.75 environmental remediation fee for each ton of garbage disposed of at Kentucky municipal solid waste disposal facilities.
This "tipping fee," authorized by the 2002 General Assembly under House Bill 174, is collected quarterly and placed in the Kentucky Pride Fund.
The Kentucky Pride Fund is the first legislated and ongoing source of state funding for dump cleanup. Previously, illegal open dump cleanup in Kentucky was primarily funded by county and federal money.
There will be a pre-bid meeting on Jan. 24 at 9 am in the fiscal courtroom for anyone wishing to bid for a dump clean-up contract on one of the five Whitley County dumps being cleaned this year.
Anyone who wishes to bid on the clean-up "must' attend the meeting, Owens added.
If they submit a bid, but did not attend the meeting, the bid will not be accepted. Bids are due by 1 p.m. on Feb. 12. Contracts will be awarded at the Feb 19 fiscal court meeting.
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