During the April 20 Pike County Fiscal Court meeting, Pike Judge-Executive Ray Jones explained that the county’s problem with illegal dumping is playing a role in the advancement of the adventure tourism industry in the county.

“All the talk, all the good intentions, all the money we spend will not be successful as long as the people of this county tolerate littering and illegal dumping,” Jones said. “People are not going to come here and visit, pay to stay here and ride the trails when they see garbage and illegal dumps along the trail.”

People are not going to come to Eastern Kentucky as long as we have litter and illegal dumping problems,” Jones explained. “There’s absolutely no reason for it nor is there any excuse for it since we have solid waste pickup.”

Judge Jones explained how the solid waste enforcement officers are combating the issue.

“We hired a new solid waste officer a couple of weeks ago,” Jones said. “In 10 days, he issued and is preparing to issue 62 criminal summons. Think about this — 62 people that one officer will have charged in about two weeks.”

Jones explained a new law, sponsored by state Sen. Phillip Wheeler and signed by Gov. Andy Beshear, that will help counties in addressing and cleaning up illegal dumps.

“Now, the law is, the county gets all the money that is generated if one of our officers cites someone, we get 100 percent of the fine returned to us to help take care of illegal dumps,” Jones said. “If it’s the sheriff’s office or state police or whatever agency that writes the ticket, that agency gets 40 percent and the county gets 60 percent.

“We cannot and will not be able to deal with adventure tourism, we won’t be successful as long as people don’t care about Pike county and don’t take pride in their community,” Jones said.

Jones asked Pike County Attorney Kevin Keene to pick out a couple of the 62 cases and try them in court as an example.

“When somebody spends 30 or 90 days in the Pike County Detention Center and this is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in jail,” Jones explained. “If we send a few people to jail for illegal dumping, people may have a change of heart.”

Jones urged people that if they know of someone illegally dumping or sees it, to get pictures and send them in and that person will be prosecuted.

“Be willing to take a stand if you love Pike County,” Jones said. “The future is in our hands and what we make of it.”