Changes to litter law not intended to change regulation’s scope, Moran says

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Oct 31, 2012 - 01:58 PM

In the wake of the contentious board of supervisors meeting held Oct. 23, Mathews County Administrator Mindy Moran wants residents to know that proposed changes to the county’s litter control/public nuisance ordinance wouldn’t change the scope of the regulation, but instead would create a "friendlier process" for dealing with infractions.

Moran said she was concerned that not enough information about the ordinance came out in the public hearing, and she wants residents to understand it better.

The current ordinance has provisions to deal with property that has been deemed a public nuisance because of its threat to the public health, safety or welfare, said Moran. But in order to enforce the ordinance as it now stands, the county has to take court action against the property owner.

Since Mathews no longer has a county attorney on staff and instead contracts its legal services from a Richmond firm, she said, the $250 per hour cost of such court action is significantly higher than in the past. A court case could cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000, she said, and such expenses "need to be minimized."