LARGO ó City commissioners recently took the first step toward increasing solid waste fees when they voted 4-3 to approve a 20 percent residential and commercial hike.
The increase, which would be the first since 2007 and take effect Oct. 1, would cost each resident about $3.50 more each month and generate about $2 million annually.
Because revenue from commercial properties has been subsidizing the residential program, city staff recommended a 25 percent residential increase. Commissioners, however, agreed with the Finance Advisory Boardís 20 percent across-the-board recommendation in order to be more equitable.
"Strategically, with some of the things weíve been trying to do in the city as far as a reserve fund for our budget and some other things, I think this kind of follows that path," Commissioner Jamie Robinson said. "And itís not as big of a hit to the citizens as some of these other options that are there."
Largo resident Robert Bullard said 20 percent was still too costly.
"Some residents of Largo are on tight, limited and/or fixed incomes and could find that any tax increase results in risky choices becoming necessary Ė food or necessary medications or risking heat stroke because you are unable to afford A/C and various other things could be problems."