Local News in Brief : Countywide : County Raises Trash, Coastal Parking Fees

The Board of Supervisors on Wednesday approved an increase in the rubbish collection rates for unincorporated areas of the county and in parking meter fees at coastal recreation facilities.

The typical residential customer, who now pays from $6.02 to $6.77 monthly for refuse collection, will face an increase of 39 cents, Bert Scott, the county's General Services Agency director, said.

Scott said the rates for commercial collection range from $40.09 to $63.85 monthly and will increase to $42.49 to $67.68. All increases are retroactive to Jan. 1.

Scott said the overall increase of 6% was the first hike since July, 1985, and was based on an index that includes labor, fuel, insurance and other costs.

In a separate action, supervisors also approved a doubling of parking meter fees from 25 cents to 50 cents an hour at Aliso, Capistrano and Salt Creek beaches, plus Dana Point Harbor.

The county's Environmental Management Agency director, Ernie Schneider, said coastal cities, by comparison, charge 50 to 75 cents an hour for parking meters, and parks at state beaches levy a $4 charge on each vehicle.

Schneider said that in the fiscal year ended last July 1, the county took in $229,835 in parking lot fees but spent $473,076 to operate the lots. He estimated that higher meter fees would enable the county to nearly break even on parking lot operations.

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