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Scott to use probationers to clean up county roads

March 24th, 2007 9:48 pm by CLIFFORD JEFFERY

GATE CITY - Throwing that cup or cigarette from a car window can earn you a stiff fine.

In Scott County, litterbugs could be not only paying for their own indiscretions, but also picking up after others'.

Jake Dougherty is learning the ropes as Scott County's new litter control officer, and his primary focus will be the Assign a Highway Program.

In April, Dougherty will begin working with the Scott County Probation Office to give up to two-mile segments of area roads to those serving a court-ordered probation.

Dougherty isn't sure who will be assigned cleanup duty. It could be most anyone who is convicted of a crime and sentenced to any term of probation in Scott County. It will be up to the probation officer or judge to determine who is going to help keep Scott County clean.

People assigned to clear litter from roads will clean their section of roadway every two weeks for a specified amount of time, Dougherty said.

"If they don't do that, it will basically result in a revocation of their probation," he said.

The primary focus of the program will be to keep the main highways in the county looking clean. Routes 23 and 58 will get the most attention from probationers.

"We'll also focus on any roads linked to tourism such as those leading to Natural Tunnel State Park," Dougherty said. "We'll focus on more of the roads that require more manpower - those that have significant litter."

It's possible that probationers will be part of hot spot crews who will take apart illegal dumps, he said.

Dougherty may deal with other aspects of litter control too, such as finding perpetrators who illegally dump trash, and educating school children about the harmful effects of littering.

But the primary focus will probably always be the Assign a Highway Program, he said.

He does not expect to run out of roads to assign. Dougherty has already segmented 150 miles of Scott County roads for future appointments.

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