County Holds Meeting On Utilities

By: Elizabeth Nickerson Email
By: Elizabeth Nickerson Email
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By: Gina Pitisci
May 29, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Leon County Commission chambers were filled tonight for the public forum which addressed storm water and solid waste fees. The storm water fee has been set at 20 dollars for over 20 years for the unincorporated area of Leon County and according to County Commissioners, the amount collected is not covering the cost for the maintenance and operation of the system.

According to Leon County resident, Kirk Headley-Perdue, "We can not fund things that we don't have money for. You can't spend what you don't have. You can't and I can't and the county can't."

Leon County Commissioner, Kristin Dozier says "There's a proposal tonight to move it to $85, but people should know that there's all kinds of exemptions. Disabled vets, seniors, mobile homes, people who have already installed storm water ponds and other things on their property to take care of their own storm water." The storm water fee vote passed 4 to 2 which means the fee will be increased for the first time in 20 years to cover maintenance and operations.

County residents in the unincorporated area currently pay 40 dollars for a solid waste fee that covers trash disposal and recycling. The option to keep rural centers open and create a fee structure passed unanimously.

Woodville resident, Julia Lewis says "I opt to haul my garbage off myself. My driveway is probably a quarter of a mile so what sense would it make for me to have to load my trash, haul it down to the road for somebody else to come pick it up."

Before the public hearing, a proposed five cent gas tax that would help with resurfacing roadways was taken off the table for the 2014 budget. Leon County resident, Curtis Baynes attended the meeting and says "I think it's worth pursuing next year, I'm sorry we didn't pursue it further this year but you know, that's the way it goes sometimes."

The stormwater fee passed 4-2, which means the fee will be increased for the first time in 20 years.

By: Elizabeth Nickerson
May 28, 2013

Leon County, FL - Your utilities bill may be about to go up.
Leon County Commissioners are working on the 2014 fiscal year and are discussing a storm-water and new solid waste fee.

The storm water fee covers water quality and flooding improvements, and would go up from 20 to 85 dollars a year. Leon County Commissioners say it hasn't been raised in more than 20 years.

As for the solid waste fee, at this time commissioners are debating it. But they've already decided they won't pass any increase onto seniors or disabled veterans.

Residents I spoke with don't like the idea of any hike in fees.
Sandra Harvey: "We're on a fixed income, so we can't stand much more of this price hiking."

The Leon County Commissioners still have to approve both the storm water and solid waste fee increases.

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