For a second year in a row, the City of Coral Gables commission voted to pass through a 1.5% tipping fee solid waste increase to residential property owners resulting in approximately a $4 increase. The item was moved by Commissioner Pat Keon and Mayor Raul Valdez-Fauli passed the gavel to second the motion. Commissioner Mike Mena was the third deciding vote which allowed the item to move pass. Vice Mayor Vince Lago and Commissioner Jorge Fors, Jr. opposed.
The increase is a pass-through due to a rise of Miami-Dade County waste processing facility tipping fees.
The entire commission however rejected staff’s recommendation to eliminate the 15% early payment credit given to residential property owners since 2015 resulting in approximately $130 yearly savings. The city administration argued too many residents are taking advantage of the savings and is resulting in $600,000 loss of revenue and proposed a three-year phase out increasing solid waste bills by $44 each year. At the end of the three years, all solid waste bills would be placed on the property tax roll.
Commissioner Jorge Fors, Jr. said he felt uncomfortable given the economic downturn the entire country is currently facing to eliminate the discount. Commissioner Mike Mena voiced his frustration with the administration given the lack of time afforded to make a decision when staff said they didn’t have another meeting to discuss in order to make deadlines for county TRIM notices.
Vice Mayor Vince Lago asked for a sunshine meeting to discuss the future of solid waste in Coral Gables and several commissioners agreed. The date of that meeting has not yet been set.