Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 22, 2018

County Health Board hears trash complaint

By Xiomara Levsen | Jul 24, 2017

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


Washington County Environmental Health director Jennine Wolf told the Board of Health her department is persuing legal action against a complaint in Richmond at the meeting Thursday afternoon.

Jesse Love is a resident of Richmond who is dumping solid wastes on his property, which he can’t do according to an ordinance, Wolf said.

“We have garbage and refuge, open dumping prohibited, sanitary disposal required nuisances prohibited,” Wolf said. “I wrote him a letter on June 21 citing the fact that he’s in violation of the ordinance. I gave him 10 days from the receipt of the letter to contact me of how he’s going to dispose of this.”

She also contacted the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and spoke to them about the issue, Wolf said. The DNR visited Love and told him to get rid of the solid waste on his property and added that he was not to burn it.

“Well, he burned it,” she said, “and so he’s bringing in more and more.”

Wolf wrote him another enforcement letter giving him 24 hours to contact her because she hadn’t heard from him after the first letter was received. She contacted the sheriff’s department Wednesday to see if he received the letter and they couldn’t find him. Love told the sheriff’s department he would be there Thursday to get it.

Since Love didn’t contact her within the 24-hour time period she gave him, she has started to work on issuing him a citation, she said.

Board of health member and Washington County Supervisor Jack Seward Jr. asked Wolf if she was working with the Washington County Attorney’s office on that. Wolf said she was.

“What’s the story?” board of health member Chris Grier asked Wolf. “Where is the stuff coming from?”

“That bothers me because it’s a bunch of household stuff,” Wolf replied. “Davenports or couches, tables, chairs — this kind of stuff that he’s throwing in a big pile, and the stuff doesn’t look bad.”

He was bringing these household items back to his property and burning them, she added.

Washington County Public Health director Danielle Pettit-Majewski said Love had a lot of vehicles on his property as well. She asked Wolf if the vehicles were being burned. Wolf replied she didn’t know about that.

Board member Connie Larsen asked how this situation was different from a residence on South Iowa Avenue in Washington. Wolf said that resident owned all of the items on the property and the owner explained he was trying to get rid of the excess vehicles on his property.

Seward said the property owner on South Iowa Avenue came in and spoke to him and supervisor Richard Young Thursday morning. The owner assured them he was working on getting rid of items and was working with the Department of Transportation about how to properly dispose of the vehicles.

“I feel better about that one because it sounds like the lines of communication are opening up,” Wolf said.

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