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Sunday, March 18, 2018


Clearing the Way for a More Beautiful Geneva County



After I became Sheriff of Geneva County, one of my goals was to reinstate the road crew and their duty of picking up garbage on county roads. Riding around the county as a deputy, I would see trash on the side of the road and become very upset at the sight. With roads filled with debris and litter thrown out of vehicles, I wondered how citizens from other counties, and possibly businesspeople who were down looking for land to locate a business, would perceive the people of Geneva County. I had noticed state crews with state inmates picking up garbage on state roads and rights-of-way, and I knew that it could be done on county roads too. I reached out to the county commissioners, and they provided me with a part-time certified officer to supervise inmates as they picked up road debris and litter. My idea was twofold. First, this gives inmates an opportunity to work and hopefully learn to take pride in the job they do. Second, removing the trash would hopefully inspire others to help keep the county clean and take pride in their communities. I know of one young man that started cleaning up one section of a road in the city of Geneva, because he took pride in the area that he lived. Although it didn't catch on at the time, it was still that one little thought that counts and goes to show that even one person can make a difference. My wish is that eventually we can expand the road crew supervisor to a full-time position and make a larger impact on the areas we cover.

Inmates must apply for a position on the road crew, and they take pride in what they are doing. The road crew has successfully removed endless amounts of road debris and litter, including tires that breed mosquitoes and other pests. Additionally, large pieces of metal that have somehow made it to the right-of-way of many roads have been removed which has kept county bush hogs from running over them. This has saved the Road and Bridge Department repair costs. The road crew has also gone into areas where large dumps were located and worked for several days to remove the waste dumped there. Furthermore, when requested, the crew has assisted cities on city-owned land in clean-ups prior to events.

I believe that reinstating the road crew has made a difference in Geneva County from the many positive comments I have received from citizens. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to expand this program in order to make Geneva County a more beautiful place to live, work, and visit.



Enjoy your Sunday Geneva County,


Paid for by Tony Helms
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