Pasco County is proposing that future commercial waste collection rates be determined by the open market.
The Pasco County Commission is set to have a public hearing on the issue at its Oct. 26 meeting, at 1:30 p.m., in the first floor board room at the West Pasco Government Center, 8731 Citizens Drive, in New Port Richey.
The county currently sets a fixed maximum hauling charge based on the size and numbers of containers. The last adjustment for those rates for commercial customers occurred on Jan. 1, 2009, according to agenda backup materials for the county board’s Oct. 12 meeting.
During the past 12 years, the costs of equipment, fuel, and staffing for private waste haulers within the county have increased significantly, the agenda materials note.
Since the last adjustment, the Producer Price Indices (PPI) for truck transportation have increased over 25%.
The county now plans to join other counties around the state in allowing commercial haulers to operate in an open market, and letting competition among private businesses establish the charges.
The price for residential waste collection will not be affected by the change.
On another issue, Commissioner Kathryn Starkey raised the need for developing some type of voluntary registry to help the county reach out to leaders of Community Development Districts and Homeowner Associations.
She said she would like to be able to create a system to make it easier to reach these groups to provide opportunities for them to learn more about county departments and services, to help them to address issues within their communities. But such meetings are difficult to arrange without contact information for the leadership of the associations, she said.
Commissioner Mike Moore agreed that such a registry would have value and supported an effort to create one. He told his colleagues that the county may be able to pick up some pointers from Hillsborough County, on this issue.
In other action, the county board:
- Amended the composition of the Airport Zoning Commission to add Hidden Lake Airport, and appointed James Bunn to represent that airport. The board, which helps with the creation of airport zoning regulations had three board members in the past, each representing a public use airport: Pilot Country Airport, Tampa North Aero Park, and the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport. Now the advisory zoning panel will have four board members.
- Approved a two-year extension for the county’s construction of trail restrooms at the Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Preserve. The extension is needed because of delays in funding from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
- Officially recognized the Fire Cadet Program as a county initiative. It has operated since 1989, but has never been formally recognized. Cadets are high school-aged individuals who want to pursue a fire service career after graduation. They are given exposure to all aspects of the fire service and its pathways to various careers. Participants meet regularly to learn the ins and outs of becoming a firefighter, emergency medical technician, or paramedic.
- Approved spending up to $2.3 million for fiscal year 2022 for legal services, which are exempt from competition. The funds are designated for retaining the services of law firms, outside counsel, process servers, investigators, expert witnesses, trial consultants or similar persons or firms deemed necessary by the county attorney, for any reason, as necessary to address the county’s legal needs.
- Approved a conditional use for Focus Forward Solutions, LLC/Fields Farm to permit a private motocross track for personal use on 30.58 acres, on the south end of Fields Farm Lane, approximately 1.25 miles west of Bellamy Brothers Boulevard. A private use motocross track had been operating at the site, in violation of the county’s land development code. The conditional use designation brings it into compliance.
- Authorized additional purchasing authority in the total amount of $50,000 to Lewis, Longman & Walker P.A., for attorney’s fees, paralegal fees, travel expenses and costs, as may be incurred by the law firm on work done in behalf of the county. The maximum cumulative amount in 2022 is not to exceed $457,301.88. The law firm is handling litigation for the county in connection with the Ridge Road extension.
Published October 20, 2021