Illegal dumpers in the crosshairs as Mohave County considers changes

Supervisors will consider ending 'cure' for violators

KINGMAN - The Mohave County Board of Supervisors will hear public comment today on revisions to an anti-littering ordinance that removes the five-day discretionary "cure" period for violators.

The board's regular meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. at the county administration building, 700 W. Beale St.

Supervisors want to offer a $500 reward to anyone with information that leads to the prosecution of so-called "wildcat" dumpers.

The board voted in March to amend the anti-littering ordinance to remove the "cure" provision, which gives violators five days to clean up their trash. It allows someone to retrieve trash that's blown onto someone else's property without facing charges.

There was some misapprehension about the purpose of that provision.

Supervisor Jean Bishop said people might be reluctant to report illegal dumping, even for a $500 reward, if they know violators can avoid prosecution by cleaning up their trash.

The ordinance was enacted to address a major problem with state statutes in proving who actually did the littering on the site. If an eyewitness observes someone littering, state law works fine.

However, the more typical situation is where trash is found in the desert and nobody knows who put it there. Officers search the trash and find utility bills and other items indicating where the trash came from. They interview that person, who can say he hired "Joe" from the swap meet to haul away the trash.

Whether it's true or not, the explanation is a defense that makes convictions difficult by state law.

The ordinance could include a provision that the defendant in the criminal case must pay a $500 fine to cover the reward.

Other items on today's agenda:

• Establish fees related to services provided by Mohave County Medical Examiner.

• Reconsider an item from March 16 directing the County Attorney's Office to work with Development Services to prepare and propose an amendment to the Land Division Regulations to require the showing of water adequacy in accordance with state law.

• Pursue the purchase agreement with Michael Diedrich for a 40-acre portion of his 120-acre parcel, which includes a water well, in the Planet Ranch area for $120,000.

• Adoption of resolution for development and future designation of U.S. Bicycle Route 66 across a 48-mile section of Oatman Highway, and requesting the Arizona Department of Transportation and sponsoring organizations take action to officially designate the route upon future completion of improvements necessary to meet minimum standards for bikeway operation.

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