KCCB talks Trash Trout, Wayfinding signage

Published 10:32 pm Thursday, February 4, 2021

The Keep Carter County Beautiful board continues the process of moving forward in placing Trash Trout garbage collection traps in streams around Elizabethton to help catch debris that continues to find its way to the local waterways.

On Thursday evening, the board met in their regularly-scheduled February meeting via Zoom to hear the latest update from Jeff Wright, the Southeast Coordinator for Trash Trout.

Wright along with some of the KCCB board took time to review potential locations for the trap.

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“We identified two locations with site one being the 321 bridge on Elk Avenue in the Doe River with the backup being the Broad Street Bridge,” said Wright. “We feel more comfortable with the options there.

“I will work to put together an official proposal for the City to consider. The next step would be to find a funder for one of our devices. I am pretty happy with where we are at.”

Board member Michael Simerly asked Wright what the cost of the device would be to which Wright responded that the device itself is $3500 and the materials needed to install the device would be approximately $500 bringing the total to $4,000 per unit.

The KCCB has applied to both the County and CIty for funding dollars.

Other items discussed during the meeting included Carter County Drug Prevention director Jilian Reece informing the board that 25 downtown businesses have opted into No Tobacco being used in or near their businesses.

Plans are to create specific tobacco product locations where tobacco products can be used.

Simerly brought to the board’s attention that there continued to be issues with dog owners not cleaning up after their dogs on downtown city streets.

The Councilman was asked if there was an ordinance regarding the problem to which Simerly responded that there was.

Simerly said they were trying to figure out how to put receptacles with bags for dog owners to clean up their mess but was realistic in the fact that even if a billboard-sized sign was put up some would still not do as they should.

Ed Basconi spoke about Bee pollination plantings which might include sunflowers which are low-maintenance and come in all varieties, colors, and sizes.

Another type of flower Basconi mentioned was Cosmos which thrives on neglect and can grow two to three feet tall. He stated the flowers were something that you can plant and walk away from.

The plant will bloom for about four to five weeks and the seed are fairly cheap to purchase. Basconi recommended the possibility of plowing up a 20×30 lot and plant the Cosmos to see what they do.

Basconi also addressed the importance of composting especially with the number of products that are placed in the landfill which could be turned into compost.

“The idea is to get people to compost at home,” said Basconi. “There are two main reasons for that and number one is the landfill and secondly is compost provides soil enrichment to help flowers and plants to grow.”

Board member Ross Garland informed the board that County Mayor Patty Woodby and Finance Director Brad Burke are preparing to sign off on the funds needed for the Wayfinding signage that will be placed throughout the county to help visitors locate various places to visit in the county.

Garland shared some drawings of the signage and maps which will be installed.

In closing, KCCB Chairman Ed Jordan shared some upcoming events which are on the calendar for KCCB.

Those include the following:

– Watauga Lake Cleanup February 6, 2021

– Tree Planting Tweetsie Trail 27 March 2021

– Adopt Milligan HWY Clean up TBA

– Community Spring Cleanup Discussion and date TBA

The meeting then came to an adjournment.