Charges for yard debris collection at beach

On June 10, 2009, the St. Johns County local news desk at Historic City News reported that both City of St. Augustine Beach and St. Johns County officials were looking into whether or not any billing error has occurred relating to yard waste collected at the beach.

A question arose last year about St. Augustine Beach residents apparently paying extra for the disposal of yard debris.

In past years, the beach community has paid landfill fees to the county in order to dump its 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.

After a former county employee brought up their suspicions of “double billing”, before the City Commission of St. Augustine Beach, the city’s Finance and Technology Director, Melissa Burns, said that she was hoping the city would have gathered enough information to decide what action to take by its July 6, 2009 commission meeting. That never happened.

Public Affairs Specialist Karen Pan told us last year that the issue was fairly complex and appeared to date back to 1992. Today, Pan says, “The County has a long-standing interlocal agreement with the City of St. Augustine Beach, and both parties were acting in compliance with that interlocal agreement.”

“However,” Pan wrote in a follow-up e-mail to Historic City News, “that interlocal agreement is unclear regarding payment for the disposal of yard debris.”

Today, Pan tells Historic City News that the solution may be found in re-writing the agreement. “Since the issue has been brought to our attention, the County and the City are working on revising the interlocal agreement to clarify responsibility for the yard debris disposal.”

Pan told us, “The revision is not complete; when it is we will be happy to share it with you.”

Photo credit: © 2010 Historic City News staff photograph