Grant aims to help make Walker County cleaner

Grant aims to help make Walker County cleaner

September 18th, 2018 by Mark Pace in Local Regional News

Bags of trash are pictured in a Walker County litter clean-up vehicle. The county's litter control program recently received a state grant to help offset costs (Contributed photo/Walker County Commissioner's Office).

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

A state grant will help Walker County, Georgia, officials offset some of the cost of the county's new litter prevention program.

The county was awarded a nearly $6,700 grant from the state's Environmental Protection Division earlier this month. The program was started in 2017 under Commissioner Shannon Whitfield shortly after he took office. Walker County's Litter Detail Program partners with the sheriff's office to use criminals working community service hours to help with cleanup efforts.

"This is a great thing for our community," Whitfield said in a statement. "This grant validates the work being done to beautify our county and supports our efforts to eliminate potential eyesores. With a growing number of outdoor enthusiasts coming here for Walker Rocks activities, first impressions are key."

The program has removed more than 200,000 pounds of waste from county roads since it began Jan. 1, 2017.

The county estimates the program costs about $58,000 per year. That cost includes the salary of one full-time employee overseeing the program, fuel, vehicle maintenance and safety equipment.

The grant money will help offset the costs not associated with the employee's salary. It will reimburse the county for expenses up to $6,672.37. There are provisions for the county to receive additional funds.

"It was one of those things [Whitfield] wanted to do to improve the look of the county," county spokesman Joe Legge said. "You never know who's driving through. We want to make sure we have a good face forward."

Contact staff writer Mark Pace at mpace@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6659. Follow him on Twitter @themarkpace and on Facebook at ChattanoogaOutdoorsTFP.


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