Against a request to do away with the current garbage ordinance, Lee County officials say they will not repeal the ordinance passed in 2009.
Lee County's Chairman of Tax Assessors, W.F. Griffin, received a standing ovation after a passionate speech of why he believes the commission should do away with the garbage ordinance and reinstate the original plan. Lee county commissioners say they respect Griffin's viewpoint, but they stand strong in their decision.
We've made a decision. We think it's in the best interest of the citizens of Lee County. We can't afford to lose over $400,000 in revenue. So our decision is firm and there is no turning back, said Lee County Commission Chairman Ed Duffy.
Chairman Duffy says keeping the garbage ordinance in place levels out the playing field by forcing unwilling tax payers to abide by the law.
It's not fair for 80 percent of the citizens of Lee County to pay the trash bill and subsidize the 20 percent that do not pay their trash bill. They either won't or they refuse to pay it, said Mr. Duffy.
Bill Williams says the county can't afford to lose money as it has in the past. He believes going through the magistrate court to collect the fees creates an expense that the county simply can't afford. Mr. Williams and the rest of the board backed Chairman Duffy as he addressed the crowd.
We are standing firm with this decision. I think it's the best method to be able to collect these unpaid garbage bills, said Lee County Commissioner Bill Williams.
Commissioner Williams says if the county doesn't recover the revenue, they will have to increase other sources to make up for the difference.