By Lynda Jones, Editor-in-Chief
Houston County/City of Crockett Environmental Control Officer Ashlie Perry has a dirty job, but she takes it seriously and is enthusiastic about investigating the perpetrators of illegal dumping throughout Houston County.
In her monthly Criminal Environmental Law Enforcement Report to the Houston County Commissioners' Court and the Crockett City Council, Perry stated that, in the month of July, there were a total of 110 bags of refuse abated within the Crockett city limits and Houston County.
Ten tires were removed from city streets and county roads, as well as two sinks, a washing machine, two mattresses, a couch, carpet and wooden flooring, Perry reported.
"All illegal dumping was investigated for evidence, which could potentially lead to the dumper(s)'s prosecution; however, the dumpers are becoming more cautious in what they dump, and it is becoming more difficult to catch them. It is highly important we educate the public on investigation procedures to avoid mishandling evidence," Perry stated in her report.
Perry says she gets creative while investigating. For example, she does not mind digging through nasty garbage left on the side of the road in search of clues, such as names or addresses on discarded mail or discarded prescription bottles.
During July, Perry patrolled and/or removed refuse from the following Crockett streets/lots on: Pecan, First St., Dogwood, East and West Houston, East Goliad, Second St., Harold, Ninth St., Seventh St., Lincoln, Bell, Fifth St., Alice, Tenth St., Sowescor, Sunset, Plum, Sanders, San Jacinto, Pease, Seventh St., Terrell, Austin, Dunbar, Thomas, Elm, Maple, Ash, Spring, Sixth St., MLK, Bowie, Hall, Rhodes, El Camino, Easy and Cedar.
The following county roads were patrolled and refuse was removed from them: 4020, 4025, 4037, 4030, 2195, 2190, 2170, 2180, 2175, 4115, 4125, 4130, 4514, 1890, 4505, 3620, 3315, 2125, 2160, 2131, 2135, 2130, 1565, 1040, 3005, 3355, 2022, 1825, 4120, 4130, 4525, 4520, 4565, 4550, 4560 and 1890.
Under Perry's supervision, community service workers assisted or completed the following special projects:
• Weed eating, mowing, raking leaves, cleaning, cutting trees and bushes and hauling off debris at the Crockett Public Library (12 hours);
• Shredding, cleaning, weeding flowerbeds and decorating at Crockett City Hall (42 hours);
• Ripping leaf bags, sorting recyclables, picking up waste and cleaning at the Crockett Solid Waste and Recycling Center (8 hours);
• Cleaning and restoring the Public Works Building, mowing and weed eating Davy Crockett Memorial Park (60 hours);
• Cleaning, helping to set up and take down for events, painting and performing maintenance tasks at the Crockett Civic Center (56 hours);
• Cleaning and organizing the Piney Woods Fine Arts Association office (4 hours);
• Worked on clearing overgrowth in Spring Creek next to Brewer Springs Park between West Houston and Goliad Ave. (ongoing project).
Perry also reported 30 reinvestigations within the city/county and 20 compliant letters were mailed out. Additionally, 58 complaints were filed and investigated and three tickets were issued for illegal dumping.
If you have any questions regarding the Environmental Report or have complaints or concerns call 936-546-3427 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.
Perry also named the July Yard of the Month for City of Crockett Precinct #1 as that belonging to Charles D. Smith at 909 Monroe St. Perry selects one yard per month, rotating the precincts.
The July Commercial Property of the Month is Lawrence Realty, located at 720 E. Loop 304 and owned by Nancy Lawrence.