Biloxi council raises garbage rates

Biloxi council raises garbage rates
Even with the increases, utility rates in Biloxi would remain among the lowest on the coast. (Photo source: WLOX)
Even with the increases, utility rates in Biloxi would remain among the lowest on the coast. (Photo source: WLOX)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Garbage rates in the City of Biloxi will be going up in April, but not as much as some city leaders had proposed.

Following a special workshop on the issue Tuesday morning, Biloxi city council members voted on the garbage fee hike at the regular council meeting in the afternoon. They voted on three different versions of raising fees, before agreeing to a $2.50 rate hike for all customers. That increase is less than the administration had recommended, since the city still faces a long term shortfall in the amount it pays for waste disposal.

Even though the rate will be raised from the current $10 dollars to $12.50 in April, it's still not enough to cover the more than $15 the city pays for each household for garbage and trash service.

"We're already upside down. We're underwater. The prices are not going down, they are always going up. And the volume, the volume is not going down. The volume will always go up," said Ward 2 Councilmember Felix Gines.

"If you don't make this statement today, that you're going to balance this budget, you still are exposing yourself to an audit exception. I'm just being honest with you," said attorney Gerald Blessey.

Besides simply raising the rates for garbage service, some council members said they'd like to consider the savings of reducing garbage pick-ups from the current twice a week, to just once.

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