continued Landry contested McKinney hasn’t taken “an active role” and “is just criticizing from the outside.”
Landry said the lawn debris pickup service is provided for about 31 weeks each year and costs the town an estimated $300,000 to $500,000 annually. He said the new fee would cover around one-third of the cost for the service, with the remaining funds coming from property taxes.
“That is less than a $1 every time the service is provided,” he said.
Landry cited the tax cap as a primary reason for implementing the new fee.
“We are dealing with a tax cap and it is very difficult to put a budget together dealing with the tax cap,” he said.
McKinney was unsure of enforcement of the new fee and questioned if it would add a significant amount of time to town employees during pick up.
Town Highway Superintendent Frank Gavin previously said residents could possibly take advantage of others, but remained hopeful only a small portion of residents would opt out due to the low fee. Gavin said the town would investigate if any resident called with a complaint.
“We will not know where the debris is coming from … we are basically assuming that everybody is going to be honest,” Landry said.
Councilwoman Denise Murphy McGraw previously said town officials have discussed enforcement procedures, with the plan evolving from handing out leaf decals to the current policy.
McKinney said he has had a lot of people emailing him about the new fee and saying they don’t like it, but are probably going to pay it anyway.
“The sad thing is people don’t want to pay it, but are going to do it anyway,” McKinney said. “People feel bullied by this administration.”
He also questioned if someone is out of town and doesn’t return until the March 15 deadline they wouldn’t have an opportunity to waive the fee for the year.
“A lot of people are out of town and probably are not even aware that this has been implemented,” McKinney said. “They will send out information now after it is already a done deal.”