Board votes to forgive garbage debt

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Board votes to forgive garbage debt

By Rupert Howell
Two elderly sisters left the Panola supervisors’ meeting in tears, but they were tears of joy after board members voted unanimously to not hold one responsible for over $4,400 in garbage fees assessed at a former home on Sardis Lake Drive.

The land owner had been living with her sister in Memphis since March 6, 1988 according to statements from her sister, after suffering from strokes, heart attack and seizures.
She testified that her daughter’s son had lived at the house but they had no idea that electricity and garbage was still in her name, stating that the bill came, “out of the blue without our knowledge,” and has “blown our minds.”

“My sister is not financially or physically able to pay this,” she said.

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“I don’t know whether you can swear out a warrant for his (the nephew who had once lived there) arrest, but I can guarantee you won’t get anything,” she said emphatically and added, “We haven’t seen him in two years.”

The property has evidently little value and is in a dilapidated state and County Administrator Kelley Magee explained that county ordinances hold the property owner responsible for past due garbage bills.

District Three Supervisor John Thomas made the motion to release the garbage debt which passed unanimously.

In other business, supervisors gave approval to change land classification in District Four for Donovan Shaw who plans to put four rental houses on four acres. He must now go back before Panola County Land Commission for plan approval.

Getting a permit to build a home or move a mobile home onto a lot may have gotten more difficult according to Panola County’s Floodplain Manager Chad Meek who heads the county’s permitting office.

Meek told supervisors that Health Department Regional Environmentalist, Field Dew, had been moved from the office at Cliff Finch County Office Building on Eureka Street to the Health Department Office.

“This means people will have to go to different places to get permits,” Meeks said while noting that working with Dew saves both applicants and the county time.

Meek also discussed a, “Wealth of knowledge,” Dew shares with him at his job.

The board asked District One Supervisor James Birge to contact a Health Department official to meet with the board in order to maintain the current relationship with Dew and the county working together.