Desoto County News

Olive Branch aldermen to aggressively fight litter

The Olive Branch Board of Aldermen, Tuesday night approved a resolution that is aimed at taking a more active approach to the fight against litter.

Olive Branch already has a litter ordinance but the resolution voted on Tuesday states a more vigorous approach will be taken to enforce the ordinance. The Olive Branch Municipal Court is being asked to issue strict penalties, including litter clean up as community service, when people who are charged are brought before the court. 

Citizens, visitors, and businesses are also mentioned in the resolution and are asked to take measures to stop littering. Those measures include organizing beautification committees among Homeowners Associations and businesses securing trash bins to keep excess refuse from blowing away from the bins.  

Mayor Ken Adams recommended the Board pass the resolution and said that he will organize a city beautification committee to regularly meet on the subject of littering. 

“I want Olive Branch to be a city the residents take pride in and cleanliness in public areas is a part of this,” Adams said Wednesday. “The police department has been encouraged to have zero tolerance for littering. The city judge has been encouraged to sentence defendants who are convicted of littering to pick up litter as part of their sentence and to use litter pick up as an option for defendants as community service who need to work off delinquent court files. I do appreciate the dedicated citizens and organizations who already volunteer to pick up litter. People should not have to pick up behind others who litter but unfortunately this is a reality in all cities.”

Aldermen Tuesday in Olive Branch also passed a COVID-19 leave policy for city employees. With the new policy, which is similar to the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, all qualifying employees receive a bank of 80 hours for COVID-19-related absences that fit into six outlined areas. 

The qualifying employees are those full-time workers currently eligible for standard leave time.

The new policy is now in effect through March 31, 2022. Any unused leave time employees have under the COVID-19 policy would be lost after March 31.  

“The City believes the extra sick hours is in the best interest of our team members and citizens,” Adams said. “Many of our team members have already used a large portion on their sick time for COVID related issues and by providing the added sick leave hours it ensures those who may have COVID or who have been in contact with others who have COVID will stay home and not infect fellow employees and citizens we serve.”

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