Archived Story

Solid Waste: Bring your own tools for event

Published 12:13am Sunday, April 28, 2013

The legal battle between the county’s solid waste district and its one-time boss will impact the upcoming countywide cleanup on May 4, says the district’s director.

Now those who plan to join the cleanup in downtown Ironton better not come empty-handed.

Dan Palmer, coordinator of the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District, is advising volunteers to bring their own tools, because he says the district’s tools locked in its fleet trailer are off-limits because of an active lawsuit.

“Please bring your own tools that you think are necessary for the cleanup,” Palmer said. “The lawsuit is about the vehicles and the trailer and we are not touching that trailer per advice of our attorney.”

However, Palmer’s former supervisor says the situation didn’t have to be like this.

“I wanted to be able to have a commonsense discussion about those kinds of things,” D.R. Gossett, director of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization, said. “Unfortunately, it is in the hands of the attorneys and there is nothing more that I can do about it. There are parts of this that would be easy to resolve and parts harder. But since we didn’t get to talk before it got into the attorneys’ hands, we didn’t have an opportunity to deal with any of it.”

In March the district filed a lawsuit against the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

From the 1990s until 2012 the CAO had operated the solid waste district’s program under an approximately $362,000 annual contract.

That association began when the district had run into problems with the state Environmental Protection Agency.

However, in November 2012 the district’s board, made up of the commissioners of both counties, voted to sever ties with the CAO, becoming an independent agency. After the split, the two agencies began a battle about who owned assets that had been used by the solid waste district. Those include five vehicles that the CAO had purchased for the district for its use in its litter and trash cleanup work.

In a six-count complaint filed by the district’s attorney, Scioto County assistant prosecutor Danielle Parker, the district seeks a declaration that the vehicles “belong to and are the property of the plaintiff, the Lawrence-Scioto SWMD.”

More than 1,000 volunteers are expected to participate in the cleanup that is in its sixth year. Last May more than 300 tons of trash were collected throughout the county.

“Normally, we provide all the brooms, rakes, blowers, tree trimmers,” Palmer said. “We won’t have any of that. We will still provide the bags and gloves. I hate to ask this, but please bring the tools that are necessary.”


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