Beach and County look into yard waste billing

Following a claim made by a former county employee, both City of St. Augustine Beach and St. Johns County officials are looking into whether or not there has been any billing errors related to yard waste collected at the beach.

In past years, the beach community has paid landfill fees to the county in order to dump it’s yard waste at the county’s Nine Mile Road facility.

Separately, the county bills every residence a yearly disposal fee for yard waste; the concern is that St. Augustine Beach residents may be paying twice.

The matter only recently came to the attention of the County Administration following last week’s City of St. Augustine Beach commission meeting.

The Office of County Administrator reported to Historic City News today “Since then we have been researching the concern, which is fairly complex and appears to date back to 1992.”

We are told that the involvement, at this point, includes County Administration, the Office of the County Attorney, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Public Works Department (which encompasses Solid Waste).

“Our staff has been in contact and continues to work with City of St. Augustine Beach officials.” said county Public Affairs Specialist Karen Pan earlier today.

The County staff person with the most knowledge about these concerns was in a meeting all afternoon, so Historic City News hasn’t been able to confirm any more details at this time.

Pan did say, regarding any potential refund to the City, “It is too early for me to speculate on that component.”

Historic City News will follow up with Michael Wanchick’s office in the next day or two to determine what progress has been made. Reportedly City of St. Augustine Beach Finance and Technology Director Melissa Burns said she hopes the city will have enough information to decide what action to take by its July 6 commission meeting.

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