Since 2005, the fee for garbage pick-up in Houston County has been $12 dollars a month. However, after the commission meeting Monday morning, that is set to change.
Garbage; it's of the nature that you have to pay a rate just to throw it away, and in Houston County, the commission approved Monday morning a motion to change rates from $12 dollars to $15 dollars a month, citing expenses.
Some understand the increase while others say it's changing their quality of life, as one resident said at the meeting Monday.
"We're being forced to move somewhere else; that's why we came here to begin with and that's what you're gonna’ do to me now?”
Officials say one benefit that Houston County residents have seen, are trash piles featuring couches and washing machines have been picked up, free of charge.
“You’re not going to find a lot of things up under the bridges,” said Engineer Mark Pool. “Because a lot of people, if you don't pick that stuff up they're going to go throw it out somewhere."
"I think we provide more services for the money than some of the other entities do by picking up trash at the roadside for free,” said Commission Chairman Mark Culver. “So, we hope those things will over time compensate for the increase, and we hope we won’t have to have to do any other increases for several years."
Houston County has 10,000 sanitation customers, not including the around 700 who are exempted from pick up fees because of their income relying solely on social security.
The increase will go into effect on October 1st of this year.
There is a way to delay the price increase for another year. Residents who pay their fees a year in advance before October will pay the current rate, and in addition, get the 12th month free of charge.