Task force wants to crack down on illegal dumping in Bethlehem area

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) It’s not what Mount Calvary Baptist Church or the United House of Prayer want to see in their back yards.

“This is some important you only get one chance to make a first impression when you ride in the area you’re impression right there,” said Apostle Curtis Sutton of United House of Prayer.

And what is impressive is the amount of illegal dumping in that section of Bethlehem and now the city says it’s time to crack down on those not taking care of their property.

People need to be fined I see people blowing stuff in the street I see illegal dumping, you can’t let people continue to do that and say we’re going to get better,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.

The Abandoned Property Task Force is trying to make things better in the Bethlehem neighborhood as city departments want to join with the neighborhood churches to take up the illegal dumping

The first step for city officials is to see if they’ve already cited property owners in the area that could make cleaning up on private property easier.

“If we’ve already been on the property we have the legal authority to do back so that would help us accelerate the process,” says Mark Johnson Environmental Services Director.

Churches say they will work on bringing out volunteers to put boots on the ground cleaning up the trash.

“I’m going to make every effort that I possibly can to get volunteers to help cleanup and help make a difference,” said Sutton.

But volunteers along can’t take care of all this mess.

“If we can get the city behind and start holding people accountable I think it’s going to create a snowball effect,” said Commissioner Williams.

The city code  says  property owners who are cited have the right to remedy the problem before the city takes action so getting to illegal dumping on private property can take time, but the city plans to  begin aggressively cleaning up on  the right of ways and alleys.

The task force plans a bus tour of the area on Friday.

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