Citizen addresses council about dumping site at farmers market

Marty Watson addressed the Scottsboro City Council Monday evening with concerns about garbage being dumped at the Jackson County Farmers Market.

Watson said she used to work for Ralph Sheppard, who worked diligently to get the farmers market put where it is on Bob Jones Road. She said it is now being used as a dumpster.

Watson brought photos to show the council how the garbage was piled up.

“As you can see, we have a really pretty sign that says, ‘Jackson County Farmers Market’ and then all this garbage is sitting in front of it,” said Watson.

Watson said she feels like most of the garbage is coming from the storage complex across the street from the farmers market. She said people dump things there when they move their things from the storage unit. She said there was a box springs and mattress at the farmers market last week.

“That makes me not want to go down there and buy vegetables this summer,” said Watson.

She said she did not know how farmers would be able to get to the stands to get out there and sell vegetables. Watson said it was packed on Saturday mornings. She said a great deal of people use the farmers market.

City Sanitation Director Stacy Ledwell said a trailer was put down there to see if it would curb some of the problem. He said it has not.

Ledwell said the site was cleaned regularly and he does not know where the garbage is coming from.

“We clean it up, and we’ll get a call two hours later and it’s like that again,” said Ledwell.

Mayor Robin Shelton said the farmers market was intended as a drop-off point for recycling, but it has been abused.

Councilman Mike Ashburn said he has gotten complaints about the area.

“Hopefully we can find a solution to get that cleaned up because it’s an eyesore. Visitors come to enjoy our lakes and our town and that’s what they see,” said Watson.  

Council President Patrick Stewart said he was glad the issue was brought to the council’s attention.  He applauded Watson for addressing the issue with the city council because they may not have known about it if she had not.

Shelton said crews from the sanitation and street departments cleaned up the site first thing Tuesday morning. He said they took the recycling bin from the farmers market and are looking for a new place to put it.

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