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Bal Harbour moves ahead with garbage fee

BAL HARBOUR

BY RODOLFO ROMAN
Special to The Miami Herald
Bal Harbour is moving forward with plans to implement a trash fee.

Council members gave the go-ahead to the village attorney to draft a resolution outlining the garbage fee.

The council would have to vote on the resolution and approve the amount of the fee for it to take affect.

So far, officials have not said how much residents would have to pay to have their trash picked up, but the village manager has said the fee is needed to bring down a projected budget shortfall for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Not everyone agreed with the fee, however.

“I really think you should consider this,” said resident Babek Rahib at Tuesday’s meeting. “I personally think it is not a good idea.”

If passed, the resolution would allow the village to include the fee on residents’ property tax bills.

Village Manager Alfred Treppeda said a fee is necessary to cut down a projected $2 million revenue shortfall for the 2010-11 fiscal year. A garbage fee would reduce that amount to $1.2 million.

Bal Harbour recently increased its property tax rate by 8.6 percent for the 2009-10 fiscal year, which took effect Oct. 1.

City officials said the hike was intended to offset a nearly 8.4 percent dip in property values.

The village projects that it will take in $13.3 million in taxes and fees for the 2009-10 fiscal year — up from the previous year’s $12.5 million.

Currently, the village counts on its own solid waste department employees to pick up trash, which was budgeted for $800,000 this fiscal year. Bal Harbour has four employees in the solid waste department along with two garbage trucks and a recycling truck. The village may also consider switching from rear-yard pickup to curbside.

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