For the WPT
MABEN — It was a perfect afternoon for the fiftieth anniversary of the Maben Home and Garden Club, which met in the country home of Kay Lewis on Feb. 21; the weather was warm, calm and sunny.
The first-time visitors to Kay’s house were in for a treat as they took in all the gorgeous beaded handbags, the dainty smocked dresses, dazzling glassware and the many, many embroidered table linens, and the oil paintings of her grandchildren.
The affair was kicked off with a gala luncheon, served in various rooms on tables decorated with elegant table linens, stemware and china. The meal was preceded by the devotion given by Cathy Lollar, who took part of her readings from “Fat Daddy’s Watermelon: Bubba’s Garden” and a piece by Thomas Kincaide. She then blessed the food.
Afterwards, President Holt welcomed everyone and introduced the afternoon leader, Suretha Brooks, who in turn introduced the speaker: Don Posey, the Oktibbeha County administrator, who is actually hired by the Board of Supervisors. This is Mr. Posey’s fifth board of supervisors with whom he has served. He prefaced his afternoon address by telling the group about his duties as the county administrator, which seemed to be a daunting task.
The topic for the program was litter pickup; recycling of glass, aluminum, cardboard and newsprint; and the disposal of hazardous waste. Parts of his discourse were humorous as he told us that he lived “one hamburger away from McDonald’s,” which meant this is where the trash would be thrown — in his front yard. Many could relate to this as quite a few members have taken it as a self-imposed task to keep their frontage picked up.
Posey asked the ladies if they knew why people threw trash on the highway right-of-ways: ignorance/lack of education. When questioned why tickets were not given for people guilty of littering; the answer was “elected officials don’t want to fine their voting public.” This was upsetting for the civic-minded ladies to hear.
Posey did have one item of information that grabbed everyone’s attention: the sheriff’s department does allow inmates to pick up garbage in each supervisor’s beat, rotating one week at a time. He said that the inmates pick up two or three trailers per day, but it is a long, time-consuming haul to the landfill where these trailers are emptied. MS Hwy. 763, a troublesome spot for many civic-minded citizens of Maben, is picked up pretty often, even though those property owners who front onto 763 pick up the trash on a daily basis.
Posey asked the 50-year old club if it had heard of the Adopt-A-Highway. The club had participated at one time, but did not currently participate.
Whereas, the county participates in the Golden Triangle Waste Management program, there is a major problem: dealing with people that do not pay for the pickup service. More than a thousand people in Oktibbeha County are getting service but do not pay any fees.
Whereas their bill continues to get higher; the only recourse is to withhold the ability to purchase vehicle tags from these people until the garbage bill is paid. Posey says with the new 911 addresses and pictures of the homes, it should be easier to enforce collection of garbage pickup bills. Currently, a new resolution by the Board of Superiors has passed: property owners are to be responsible for paying garbage bills.
Another major problem is the loss of the garbage barrel that each household received back when the program began. Many have been run over on the highways; some are torn up through use; but some are just stolen.
Since all counties do not participate in this program, a few purloining people acquire barrels by taking some poor soul’s property in the dead of night or maybe in the broad daylight. In the past, barrels have been replaced by the beat supervisor, but it is under consideration that if the barrel is lost, the property owner can purchase a new one at Wal-Mart or wherever they are sold.
Many interesting items kindled the ladies’ attention: one such one was the establishment of the County Work Program by the Board of Supervisors that is under discussion: people that owe the county fines can pick up garbage on the highways as a means of paying their fine.
Mr. Posey briefly touched on recycling for the Maben area. This would require at least 25 participants before pickup would be available.
The topic in which all were interested was the disposal of household hazardous waste. Mr. Posey handled out info sheets with time, date, place and types of waste that is allowed and that which is not allowed to be disposed of in the county landfill.
He ended his discourse with a big smile from his smiley frog and then gave his telephone numbers if any of the ladies had problems with litter.
President Holt moved directly to the business of the club: the minutes were read and approved as read; the financial report was given and approved.
The plaque for Cotton Sanders’ Memorial Tree was put on display, and it will be placed immediately at the First Baptist Church.
The directional road signs for the Maben Public Library will be acquired in the very immediate future as they are coming from a surprising and unexpected source and with no charge.
The Yard-of-the-Month sign was placed in the yard of Dottie Dewberry by Suretha Brooks.
The nominating committee, Sandra Bishop and Suretha Brooks, presented the slate of nominations as follows: President-Anne Earnest, Vice-President-Jane Collins, Secretary-Dottie Dewberry and Treasurer-Jackie Christopher. They will be voted on this month.
Jane Collins reported that the club would have a table at the Maben Chamber of Commerce banquet, which was Feb. 25 at the First Baptist Church. The banquet was catered by Larry’s Restaurant.
Dottie Dewberry reminded the club that on the 25th anniversary of the club 25 crape myrtles had been planted. This 50th anniversary will be remembered with a planting on the corner next to Springer’s Dry Goods and Furniture. The right-of-way permission will be acquired before any work starts. The club discussed plans to initiate a series of beautification projects on MS Hwy. 15 over the next year or so.
The door prizes for the afternoon were donated by Pat Harpole and June Turner. They were won by Jackie Christopher, Gail Busby (guest), Jane Collins, Joyce Holt, Gladys Hendrix and Anne Earnest.
The next meeting will be a road trip to tour the garden and greenhouses of Carl Hogan in Columbus on March 20. Members will meet at 11 a.m. in front of the First Baptist Church and leave from there at that time. Carpooling is encouraged. Lunch will be at the Front Door/Back Door in Columbus.