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New environmental officer hired

By By ANNA M. LEE Assistant Editor
Escambia County has hired Butch Lee, former Flomaton chief of police, to be the county's environmental officer in charge of solid waste management.
Previously, the solid waste officer reported to the county commission and to the tax collector and was responsible for both solid waste management and monitoring manufactured home registration in the county, said county administrator Tony Sanks.
Because duties of the solid waste officer have changed and the solid waste part of the job has grown, the Escambia County Commission voted at its Feb. 9 meeting to split the responsibilities between two employees.
With the hiring of Lee as environmental officer, the job will now operate as part of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office. As Sanks said, the person in that position needs to be a certified law enforcement officer so they will be on better footing to make a criminal charge if someone is found in violation of the county's solid waste regulations.
As the county's environmental officer, Lee will be responsible for two main duties, said Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith -- litter control and cleaning up illegal dumping.
Mandatory solid waste collection for everyone in the county was imposed in 1994 in an effort to curb illegal dumping, Sanks said.
Lee starts Monday and will be based at the Sheriff's satellite office in Atmore.
To handle what was the manufactured home registration part of the solid waste officer's job, the county has hired Johnny Gibbs as a part time employee.
Gibbs will check manufactured homes in the county to confirm that they are registered.
If the manufactured home owner rents the lot their home is located on, they must register the manufactured home, Sanks said. If the manufactured home owner owns the lot they would just pay property taxes.
Gibbs will also be based in Atmore and will operate through the county tax collector's office.
To report an absence of mandatory solid waste collection or illegal dumping, call Lee at the satellite Sheriff's Office in Atmore at 368-4779.