by ROCCO MAGLIO
A letter was mailed to the property owners in Hernando County providing notice of a public hearing to impose an increase to the solid waste disposal special assessment. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 9:00 am in the County Commission Chambers at the Hernando County Courthouse. The purpose of this meeting is to receive public comment on the proposed assessment.
This assessment would mean an increase of the fee to $69.40 from $63.05 for a Single-Family Residential Unit and $63.30 from $57.50 for Multi-Family Residential Units (up to and including 4 units). The maximum amount that the assessment could be increased in future years is $95.00 for a Single-Family Residential Unit and $86.65 for Multi-Family Residential Units (up to and including 4 units).
The current assessment rates have been in place for more than 15 years. The Hernando Solid Waste and Recycling Department note a couple of reasons for the increase. They need to construct a new $16 million garbage cell and create a storm debris removal fund. The storm debris removal fund would be in case there is a storm event and FEMA does not fully reimburse the County for debris removal. The debris removal after Hurricane Irma was not fully funded by FEMA.
The proposed increase also notes that the county has grown significantly over the 15 years the rate has remained the same adding 37,000 residents, but that also means that significantly more people would have paid the assessment.
According to the Hernando Solid Waste and Recycling Department the new fee is estimated to result in $5,493,740 being collected in 2020. If you have questions you can contact the department at 352-754-4112 from 8:00 am to 4:30pm on weekdays or attend the hearing during the County Commission Meeting on July 16th.