NEW PORT RICHEY — Illegal dumping has gotten so bad that the City Council has approved the first reading of an ordinance change that would dramatically increase the fine for violators.
For years, the city has hit those caught illegally dumping with a $30 fine, a punishment with no teeth, police Chief Kim Bogart told council members Tuesday.
The chief asked the council to consider a $500 fine for violators to help curb the problem, especially the dumping of landscape material such as tree debris, Bogart said. The council unanimously gave initial approval to the $500 fine.
It was a welcome idea for council member Jeff Starkey, who said he frequently sees illegally dumped debris around his neighborhood off U.S. 19.
"I can't tell you how important this is," Starkey said.