County to crack down on construction debris

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 18, 2001

The start of the spring construction and cleanup season is no reason to ignore the value of common sense.

Wednesday, April 18, 2001

The start of the spring construction and cleanup season is no reason to ignore the value of common sense.

Email newsletter signup

Homeowners and contractors engaged in remodeling and roofing are reminded that all demolition and construction waste loads must be covered and contained.

Bill Buckley, county environmental health services director, won the Mower County Board of Commissioners’ approval last week to crack down on violators.

Complaints about debris falling from trucks, nails in wood causing flat tires and other hazards left behind rolling trucks en route to demolition landfills surfaced last year.

County officials don’t want to hear the same complaints this year; nor do they want contractors getting away with making the same mistakes over again.

The mandate includes securing the bottom of the load to prevent nails and metal stripping from falling out as well as covering the top to prevent shingles, light wood and paper from blowing out of the truck or trailer bed.

According to Buckley, "In the summer of 2000 a number of problems resulted from the large number of demolition debris loads being transported to the area demolition landfills and transfer facilities."

"Shingles and construction paper littered the roadsides as well as flat tires resulted from nails and sharp metal in the roadway," he said.

Mower County has only two demolition landfills and both are in Lansing Township near U.S. Highway 218 north of Austin.

The only waste transfer station is the city of Austin’s and located on the east side of the Austin Municipal Airport.

"Please remember that allowing materials to fall from your vehicles or trailer is littering and is punishable as a misdemeanor," Buckley is telling contractors and others in a warning letter. "Law enforcement agencies will be enforcing this law on area roads this construction season."

Homeowners are also being asked by Buckley to be proactive and to be sure contractors they hire for home projects obey the law and that use a box or dumpster with a solid bottom to contain and haul debris from their property and that all loads are covered.

Buckley said everyone’s cooperation will be appreciated by motorists and highway workers as well as the landfill operators and Mower County.

In other action last week, the county commissioners:

n Agreed to allow the Austin YMCA to offer county employees a $50 discount to join the organization. The agreement sought as a marketing plan by the Austin YMCA comes at no cost to the county.

n Allowed Mower County Court Administrator Patty Ball to seek quotes for a new public-access window to east government center offices used by the court administrator’s staff.

n Approved a fee increase recommended by Mower County Auditor Woody Vereide for certified copies of delinquent real estate tax statements. The current $2.50 fee is 10 years old and the new fee will be $5 or the same as that charged for similar information from the Mower County Treasurer’s office.

n Approved recommended changes to the joint powers agreement shared by the city of Austin and Mower County for a home ownership program.

n Approved designating the Salvation Army Austin Corps to be the agency of record for administering a Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program.

Call Lee Bonorden at 434-2232 or e-mail him at