Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

April 14, 2014

ELKHART COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: Answer sought for trash blowing in the wind along U.S. 20

GOSHEN — The trash is building up along U.S. 20, and it’s time to do something about it.

That was the word from County Commissioner Mike Yoder during a meeting of the Elkhart County Board of Commissioners Monday morning.

During the meeting, Yoder said he has received an increasing number of reports from county residents complaining of trucks with improperly covered cargo littering trash all along the corridor.

“I think many in our community have seen that mess,” Yoder said. “Trash is blowing off the trucks, and the road is a mess.”

In an effort to try and get a handle on the situation, Yoder said he recently spoke with Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers, who in turn has indicated he plans on increasing patrols in the area. Yoder also noted that officials with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) have also been up to survey the corridor, and may soon take some enforcement actions of their own.

“I had a call from our Economic Development Corporation, and they are avoiding that road when working with clients,” Yoder said. “It’s that bad. It’s an embarrassment to the community.”

As for how to handle the cleanup situation, Yoder noted that he has worked with officials at the Elkhart County Work Release center in the past to coordinate similar cleanups, adding he felt that might be a good avenue to pursue with this project as well.

Along those lines, County Highway Manager Jeff Taylor told the board he currently has a former Work Release employee working for his department who he would be happy to set to the task of coordinating the cleanup with the center.

“From my perspective, I’m going to give these companies some time to get their acts together, or I’m going to start mentioning names,” Yoder said at the close of the discussion. “I’ve got the names of two companies right now whose trash is littering that road. It needs to be cleaned up. We’re going to spend time cleaning it up, and if the trucks and the traffic do not change their policies and practices, we’ll be back in the same situation within a week or two. So it’s time to get that cleaned up.”

Other business

In other business, the board:

• Approved a request by Elkhart County Landfill Manager Kim Davis to purchase a new Toyota Tacoma truck from Heart City Toyota at a cost of $20,957.

• Approved a request by Elkhart County Highway Manager Jeff Taylor to enter into a joint resolution with the city of Elkhart allowing the city to purchase two street sweepers from the county at a cost of $140,000.

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