Watson - $500 Check Reward offerThe Mohave County Board of Supervisors is getting very serious with those that choose to use the Arizona desert as their own personal dumping grounds. On Monday, the board voted unanimously to offer a $500 reward to those that provide information on wildcat dumpers that leads to a conviction. County supervisors are so serious about stopping the practice that they are willing to pay up to $50,000 in rewards this year, and they’re also prepared to change the county’s ordinance to stop being so nice.  The ordinance that created the Mohave County Environmental Rural Clean-up Enforcement (ERACE) program, which was adopted six years ago, gives violators five days to clean-up their illegal dumping before being prosecuted. The end result has been very few convictions and although more than one million tons of garbage has been cleared, wildcat dumping continues. Supervisor Buster Johnson, (R-Lake Havasu City), said the ordinance, when it was passed, was designed to be friendly by giving them five days to clean it up. He suggested it’s time to stop being so friendly saying it was time to let violators know “there’s no more free pass on this.” “Rewarding persons who report illegal dumping crimes represents another best practice strategy in providing a strong deterrent and cost savings approach toward reducing instances of illegal dumping,” Johnson wrote in a memo to staff, placing the item on Monday’s agenda. Supervisor Gary Watson, (R-Kingman), whose district accounts for 60 percent of all the land area of Mohave County, was please to support the reward program and, as seen in this picture, even offered a $500 personal check to cover the first reward. Supervisor Jean Bishop, (R-Chloride)– a former ERACE officer, voted for the reward program after her colleagues agreed to make the ordinance stronger. She expressed concern that residents who ‘stick their neck out’ to report violators might be upset to learn their is no reward because there would be no conviction if the violators cleaned up their mess. The board will formally address their proposed change to the ordinance at their next meeting on Mar. 16.

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