Videos: Valdosta Mayor announces first trash trap @ VCC 2022-05-19

Update 2022-06-21: Valdosta Watergoat installed in Sugar Creek 2022-06-21.

Update 2022-05-21: QUARTERMAN in VDT: Sewage situation better, trash needs work 2022-05-21.

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman asked for action about trash at the Valdosta City Council meeting yesterday, and two elected officials vied to announce that there was some action already.

[Suwannee Riverkeeper, Andy Gibbs, Mayor James, Richard Hardy]
Suwannee Riverkeeper, Andy Gibbs, Mayor James, Richard Hardy

You can see it for yourself:

Videos for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange by John S. Quarterman

As Suwannee Riverkeeper, I thanked Mayor Scott James and Council Andy Gibbs for helping with the WWALS cleanup on Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River. Since they had seen it before, they had personally seen that if you clean it up, it just comes back at the next rain, coming down the creeks from the city. I thanked the auditors for establishing that Valdosta has plenty of money to do this.

This should cost less than fixing one manhole. I congratulated the city on getting a grip on the sewer situation.

Fixes include trash traps. At least three vendors make affordable trash booms with nets. Need to put those at least on Sugar Creek, Two Mile Branch, and Three Mile Branch (where the Mayor lives).

Upstream the city needs to do education and enforcement of its ordinances. It will be great if businesses will voluntarily keep trash from escaping their property and put out trash cans like the ordinances require, but if not, the city can fine them. And of course city police should enforce the anti-littering laws.

And it would be great if all the Click-n-Fixes would be responded to.

I noted I had spoken to Council about this trash situation in February, and we’d been speaking to the city since at least last June, and I look forward to some action.

[Council Andy Gibbs]
Council Andy Gibbs

Council Andy Gibbs said he’d like to answer. Mayor Scott James asked him to hold that until Council Comments, althought that would mean the Mayor would steal his thunder because the Mayor would speak first. Council Gibbs said OK, you go first.

Mayor James in Council Comments announced the city had ordered its first trash trap, for Sugar Creek below the Salty Snapper, and more were planned.

[Mayor Scott James announces first purchase of a trash trap, Sugar Creek, by Salty Snapper]
Mayor Scott James announces first purchase of a trash trap, Sugar Creek, by Salty Snapper

Russell Allen McBride, creator of the WWALS trash boom at that location seemed pleased. Even Bobby McKenzie seemed pleased.

[Bobby McKenzie, Russell Allen McBride]
Bobby McKenzie, Russell Allen McBride

Afterwards, Public Works Director Richard Hardy, who is also Deputy City Manager of Operations, told me the trash boom is a WaterGoat.

[Public Works Director Richard Hardy]
Public Works Director Richard Hardy

In the foreground of that picture is the other Deputy City Manager of Administration, Human Resources Director Catherine Ammons. If I understand correctly, she oversees the City Marshalls. Anyway, she came up before the meeting to say hello.

There are other signs that maybe Valdosta is finally getting the picture about trash and what they need to do. Here’s the letter I sent Mayor and Council last Friday, once again laying out the plan.

[Trash: WWALS to Valdosta 2022-05-13]
Trash: WWALS to Valdosta 2022-05-13

We will be watching.

For more about the trash situation, see:

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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