Harford County Council increases solid waste disposal fees

May 12—The Harford County Council approved a bill Tuesday that will increase county fees charged for solid waste disposal.

Cars and SUVs dropping off waste at the landfills will be charged $8, up from $5, and fees for pickup trucks and small trailers will increase from $7 to $11, according to the bill's fiscal note. Waste haulers also will see an increase from $72 to $117 per ton.

The bill, introduced by council president Patrick Vincenti at the request of Harford County Executive Bob Cassilly, will take effect 60 days after passage.

The bill passed by a vote of 5-2, with council members Aaron Penman and Jessica Boyle-Tsottles speaking against the fee hike.

Penman said he was voting against the bill because he saw it as a form of tax increase.

"I'm concerned how this will impact the wallets of hardworking community members, along with the businesses across our county," Penman said.

Boyle-Tsottles expressed similar sentiments.

"In these times of economic difficulty, we should be doing what we can to help our citizens, not imposing more financial burdens," Boyle-Tsottles said.

Vincenti said that the bill was not a tax.

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"It is the cost of doing business," he said.

Council member Jacob Bennett, who voted for the bill, said, "It's been a long time since this has been addressed. It needed to be addressed with the increased costs to the work we do to get solid waste out of Harford County."

Bennett, however, raised concerns about mixed message from Cassilly, calling and texting the community saying he didn't want the County Council to raise taxes and then asking the council to pass the fee hike.

In other council news, two bills were introduced that would allow the county to borrow, issue and sell bonds in the amount of over $102 million to be used for county projects.

Public hearings for these bills will be held on June 13.