East Texas Constable Ready To Stop Illegal Dumping In His County - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/11/06-Cherokee County

East Texas Constable Ready To Stop Illegal Dumping In His County

The trash just keeps piling up in one East Texas county and those doing the trashing are getting away with it. One Cherokee County Constable has had enough, and he's decided to take charge in stopping the illegal dumping.

Cherokee County Precinct 3 Constable Eddie Lee has been in office just four months. Unlike Smith County, Cherokee County does not have an environmental investigator. Lee says he wants to fill that role.

"Nobody has done anything about it," said Cherokee County Constable Eddie Lee.  "Nobody cares about it. When I got into office that was one of my main things of doing, was to take care of my court and to work dumping."  

Constable Lee gave KLTV a tour of some of the county's popular dumping sights.  A beautiful view overlooking Lake Jacksonville is obstructed by piles of garbage.  "People are dumping their litter," said Lee. "I mean just their everyday garbage out in the county."

Just this week, someone tossed an old stove, couch and several mattresses on the side of the road.  "They don't care," said Lee. "They just don't care."

County Commissioner Moody Glass is working with Lee in writing a grant to get more money to clean up the county.

"We can't afford as a county to just dedicate people for that purpose," said Cherokee County Precinct 3 Commissioner Moody Glass.  "I have 200 something miles of road, and six employees."

Glass says, the grant money will also be used to put up new signs and educate the public about not littering.

"I had a little phrase yesterday, 'Precinct 3, Keep it Litter Free'," said Glass. "Just put them up on the roadways. Let people think about it." Also, both Glass and Lee say, let the signs be a warning that people are out there looking for dumpers.

"If we catch them, they are not just going to get a fine," said Lee. "I'm going to take them to jail."    

The county has to submit the grant to the East Texas Council of Government by the end of the month. They are asking for $10,000. The county says it will take about two weeks to get a response.

Molly Reuter reporting, mreuter@kltv.com

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