Land use fees could increase to combat illegal dumping

Posted at 10:24 PM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 01:24:53-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — You soon could be paying more for land use fees, as officials from public works hope to use the funds to help combat what they say is a growing problem — illegal dumping.

Tuesday, during the afternoon board of supervisors meeting, the director of public works, Craig Pope, gave a presentation and formal proposal to the board, asking for the expansion of resources to fight illegal dumping.

Pope said his department is looking to increase the number of crews that work to clean up the county including using crews made up of those from local homeless shelters, as well as, expand community outreach and education programs and increase the number of bulky waste collection events in the county. Something he says could greatly help keep people from illegal dumping.

"This is something that probably needs more. It's just whenever we run one, there's a lot of people at them. Curbside bulky waste offered. County haulers. Various cities have programs. This needs to be greater. Because I think one of the things is and if I want to be consistent about what we are seeing on the side of the road, is that a lot of it just doesn't fit inside of a garbage can and people just don't know what to do with it. It becomes a bulky waste issue," said Pope.

Public works also wants to increase the fines for those caught committing illegal dumping.

And to fund all of this — the department is proposing increasing land use fees and then dividing the funds raised by region in the county.

Land use fees have not increased since 2012. Under the new proposal, current fees for homes would be increased from a little more than $82 to $105.

Fees for apartments would go up from $66 to $84.

Public works will be holding meetings in local cities to get feedback on the proposal and if eventually approved by the board of supervisors, the new fees could go into effect by this summer