At Monday night’s City Council meeting, the commissioners discussed a way forward regarding the brush dump. Mayor Travis Thompson said, “we brought this up a couple months ago, three months ago, about contractors dumping at the brush dump. Again, it happened, so I’m bringing it up again to see if there’s anything that we want to do to prevent it, because we didn’t make any motion the last time.”

He continued, “with them dumping at the brush dump, it can cause us issues because we’re the ones that have to pay for it to be pushed back.”

Street Commissioner Chris James told the council, “well, I [saw] a big truck up there here about a week or two ago, that was coming out of there, so that’d probably be it, wasn’t it? Thompson replied, “I’d venture to say that’d probably be correct.” Chief of Police, David Burrows noted, “we’ve got it on camera.” James continued, “that’s what I thought. I [saw] it coming out with another truck behind it. Well, my question is…unfortunately, are we going to have to put a cable across there and have the guys unlock it?”

The mayor admitted that was one concern he had, “by doing that, you limit for the weekend, when our citizens use it.” He added that was a main reason why, as far as he remembered, it was not addressed with a motion several months ago, stating “it was a difficult question to answer on how we were going to go about maintaining it-keeping the contractors out.”

Gas Commissioner Donavan Baldwin shared his concerns with the council as well, as he noted, “I think if we put a cable up or something, then when our employees are on their weekend off, and I’ve got to trim my rosebushes, and want to take them somewhere, I don’t have any place to go, and that’s probably when the majority of the citizens use that, is on their time off…in the end, our guys could be out on a gas leak or repairing a street, and they’d have to stop to go unlock it.”

It was suggested that a sign-or possibly more than one type of sign-be put up, reminding contractors that cameras were in use at the brush dump site, as well as noting a fee for contractor use of the brush dump since it was for public (local) use only. James also suggested a weight limit sign on the city park road, would also curb large trucks from traveling to the brush dump site, which would also help alleviate road deterioration and the costs associated with that. “It’s a city street, I don’t see why we couldn’t put what we want on it. it is not a class three truck route,” he added, when questioned about how the city would go about imposing a weight limit sign on the “small streets,” as Baldwin referred to it.

Burrows later voiced his professional opinion that “as far as weight limits, you’re probably going to eliminate the commercial trucks with any reasonable weight limit, from going up there, so you might as well say it’s for local use only, and be done with it.”

He acknowledged James’ concern about the road, noting “we’re going to continue to have problems with the road if you let them dump. And all those trucks hauling that stuff are going to be big trucks-they have to be, because of the quantity of material they have on them.”

Jay Walden, the City Attorney, asked the rest of the council for clarification on the contractors use of the brush dump; “we’re talking about a brush dump. What is a contractor putting up there?” When Burrows explained “they’re cutting down trees, commercially, and talking all the limbs and trucks [there],” Walden disclosed, “I’m thinking ‘contractor,’ I’m picturing something totally different. I thought, ‘what are they doing up there first-off?’”

Though not everyone present thought restricting contractors from using the brush dump was the in the City’s best interest. “It’s kind of like one of those catch-22’s,” Baldwin said, “I’d really hate to see them not being able to dump, because they might be the ones cutting down that big tree at my house that I want gone.”

“It’s the big trunks,” Finance Commissioner David Jordan noted, that is causing the most problems. Though the council wrangled with several suggestions and ideas, it was noted that the contractors have been dumping for years, and ultimately it was in their best interest to see if the contractors would be willing to offset the cost of larger CAT equipment needed to maintain the brush dump, while allowing them to continue using it. Jordan suggested, “let them pay for that, and utilize it, because if we don’t, I’m afraid we’re going to have them cutting stuff down and leaving it on the side of the road, and then…we’re going to be at it with the property owners wanting it cleaned up.”

He concluded by telling the council, “That’s the thing I see as being a possible repercussion from stopping them. If they’re willing to pay whoever we can hire to bring a bigger CAT…to push that stuff back so that it doesn’t become…a hazard up there, and for us to have space to dump. I would be more inclined to see us go that route with them, and let them dump because, like I said, I see the other side as being a bigger problem.”

James made a suggestion, to talk to the contactors first and determine if they’d be willing to offset costs or pay fees, “talk to them, try to figure something out with them. If that doesn’t work, then we just put a sign up there…you’re on camera, if you’re commercial, we’re going to charge a fee…I don’t know how else to do it.” Jordan added, “we have to be specific: it’s trees they’re cutting down in GRAYVILLE, not Crossville or Carmi, who knows where.”

Baldwin countered, “I kind of agree, I think there ought to be some sort of sign put up, and then we can contact…them, and say ‘hey, if you guys are going to continue to use this…we’re going to have to have some sort of help from you to push the stuff down.”

Burrows shared, “The one [truck driver] was already told he wasn’t to dump up there, and he did it anyway,” which prompted Thompson to say, “That’s what I was going to ask.” Burrows continued, “[former] Chief Mann told him he was no longer allowed to…on Grayville property. Now that Chief Mann’s gone, I guess he thought it was okay again, so he did it.” Jordan asked Burrows if the truck driver was fined or warned (again), to which Burrows said, “I haven’t caught up with him yet, he hasn’t been back to town.”

With so many options discussed, the board approved research into the costs of bringing heavier equipment in yearly. “We’re not going to know the costs until we ask,” Jordan reminded the council.  

“Whatever you guys want to do, I’ll enforce it,” Burrows told the council. Later, he added, “What’s fair to Grayville?...if they want to dump up there, they should contribute to helping keep it orderly up there. If not, they can take it someplace else and dump it.”