JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A fee fight is brewing between Jacksonville and the beaches. Atlantic and Neptune Beach are protesting tipping fees for trash removal voted in by Jacksonville's city council last year.
"The bottom line is they just don't want to pay for what yet owe us," said Jacksonville councilman Stephen Joost.
Joost says it's time for the beaches to pay up. Atlantic Beach is on the hook for nearly $310 thousand for garbage collection running October 1 through July 31. Neptune Beach owes $170 thousand. Add in yard waste and the grand total comes to almost $532 thousand.
Joost says that money could help save jobs and keep police officers on the street. "They're in tight budget times and we're in tight budget times. They want us to cut our budget all the way, they need to cut theirs too."
Atlantic Beach commissioner Maria Mark says Jacksonville blindsided the beaches with these fees. She hasn't ruled out forking over the trash cash but says that decision will be made after an auditor finishes an independent review.
"Even if we have to pay this tipping fee to Jacksonville, I don't know if that's going to solve those other budget problems that they have. Certain funds are restricted through certain uses," said Mark.
Elected officials in Atlantic and Neptune plan to meet with COJ officials over the next two weeks to review the fees.