County to upgrade security at trash sites

WOODSTOCK – Shenandoah County might ramp up security at one of its trash compactor sites to combat illegal dumping.

The Board of Supervisors heard from one of its members Tuesday who advised them of a recent incident in which someone disposed of a mattress and box spring in the trash container on State Route 55 near Clary and Lebanon Church. Mattresses and box springs are not allowed in the devices.

District 5 Supervisor Marsha Shruntz said the incident happened at night. Shruntz went on to say that people continued to put trash in the container on top of the illegal items that sat at the bottom. The items made it difficult for county workers to empty the container, Shruntz said. Operations Manager Brad Dellinger responded to the situation and used equipment to pull out the mattress and box spring, Shruntz added.

Only a gate blocks the way to the container site when closed and anyone can walk around and put trash in the devices, Shruntz noted.

“The yellow gates at these sites are a joke,” Shruntz said.

Culprits could include residents who know they can go around the gate or people who come in from Frederick County or West Virginia and dispose of trash illegally, Shruntz said.

The incident spurred Shruntz to request that the county look into upgrading security at the site possibly by installing fences and a gate that employees can lock. Shruntz said the county could use this site as the beginning of a pilot program to upgrade security at all its convenience sites. County Administrator Mary T. Price told Shruntz that one company provided a cost estimate of $11,000 to install such security devices. Staff members are waiting on a second cost estimate, Shruntz said.

Vice Chairman Richard Walker said the county should also expand security measures to include video cameras at the convenience sites and lights controlled by motion detectors.

“It’s that type of thing that really puts those legitimate people who need that service and need that location and puts them at risk,” Walker said.

Also at the meeting, supervisors:
• Held a public hearing on a request to adopt an ordinance designating real estate owned by Hupps Hill LLC as exempt from real estate taxes. No one spoke during the hearing though Price and Chairman Conrad Helsley read submitted letters of support for the exemption.
• Designated Price and Assistant County Attorney Evan Vass as Freedom of Information Act officers for the county
• Approved a supplemental appropriation of $12,000 for the Children’s Services Act
• Approved an addendum to a Dec. 22, 2011, agreement with the Virginia Department of Transportation related to Borden Mowery Drive and the agency’s Economic Development Access Program funds used to extend the road in the North Shenandoah Industrial Park. The Commonwealth Transportation Board granted an extension for qualifying investment until Jan. 3, 2017. The approval does not impact the county budget and funds originated from the Industrial Development Authority, but VDOT will only enter into agreements with the locality.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or