- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (AP) - Southaven’s property taxes won’t be going up, but residents still will pay more for municipal services.

The city will start charging a $12 monthly fee for garbage collection.

“We would be like every other city in the county with monthly sanitation billing,” City Administrator Chris Wilson tells The Commercial Appeal (https://bit.ly/VPclbQ ).

Wilson said the garbage fee of $12 a month would be included in the city’s water bill.

“It is a cost increase,” Wilson said about the garbage fee which is currently paid through property taxes.

“The $12 will come on their water bill and if they aren’t a municipal water customer, they will get a bill from the sanitation department.”

The fee allows the city to avoid an increase in property taxes.

Wilson said the money from the garbage fees will allow the city to hire more police officers, firefighters and code enforcement officers plus set aside $1 million for street repairs and $500,000 for drainage.

Alderman Raymond Flores said officials looked at every “scenario” to avoid a tax hike including the monthly garbage fee.

“Yes, it (garbage fee) is a fee increase, but it is like everybody else in the county and weekly rubbish pickup up is included in the fee,” Flores said. “I know it is not popular, but we have to do what is right for the city. We are doing this to continue to maintain the growth of the city and maintain the aesthetics, but more importantly we are putting this money into public safety. We are also putting $1.5 million in street repair and drainage infrastructure improvements.”

The board of aldermen is expected to vote on the budget on Sept. 2.

The new fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, https://www.commercialappeal.com


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