Trash bills to increase in parts of Hernando

- It’s garbage day in this part of Hernando County, and some residents are hoping a new garbage rate change is thrown out with the trash.

Ashley Long's trash bill is about to jump, nearly doubling from $8 per month to $14. She and others say it's a lot to ask.

“Everything is going up but the weekly paychecks, and this is going to devastate a lot of families,” Long said.

And the way she's paying is also changing. Right now, it's part of the monthly utility bill. Now, it'll be added to the yearly property tax bill.

Some residents are surprised by the changes, but County Commissioner John Allocco says the decision was made last year.

“The final contract was approved in October of 2017, but we had quite a few meetings where it was opened to the public,” he said.

The commissioner says the billing change answers a problem. Under the old system, people could skip out on paying and still get service.

“There was a significant portion of the homes that realized they could only pay the water portion of the bill, and the waste hauler was still required to pick up the trash,” Allocco said.

The Beards, who sell real estate in the county, say it will affect how they make a living.

“It’s going to affect the way people are able to pay that bill too, because it’s going on their tax bill, so it will affect the way we sell houses as well,” William Beard said.

On Tuesday, a public hearing will be held to vote on the change in billing method. The meeting will be held at the county’s government center at 9:30 a.m.

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