BROOKSVILLE — Homeowners will be paying more for garbage service as Hernando County Commissioners on July 13 approved a rate hike of $8.88 per year per unit for Republic Services.

The 5% rate increase means a homeowner will pay $185.28 per year vs. $176.40.

County Commissioner Steve Champion said he normally doesn’t like rate increases but this one was needed and showed the consequences of voting for the wrong leaders.

“They improved their service,” he said of Republic, “but you voted for a socialist president who’s destroying the country, and for a $15 minimum wage, and this is what you get,” saying inflation will drive up the cost of everything.

Commission Chairman John Allocco said that while service has improved, some garbage trucks are leaking fluids onto the ground at homes, and he said he wanted something done about that.

“In front of each house,” he said, “there’s a big stain on the road.”

Another problem, said County Attorney Garth Coller, is that the new trucks don’t make as much noise, so people can’t hear them and miss their pickup. He jokingly recommended that the drivers blow the air horn at every stop.

Approval of the increase passed 4-1, with Commissioner Elizabeth Narverud dissenting.

“I fundamentally disagree with that being on our tax bill.”

In other action:

• Commissioners congratulated Airport Operations Manager Kevin Daugherty on his leadership and years of service to the county. He’s moving on to an airport on the east coast of Florida.

• Chief Fire Officer Scott Hechler thanked the commissioners as they approved two items for the county’s fire service: a $1.7 million contract to Blackwater Construction Services for the Fire Station No. 6 Construction Project; and a $5 million contract to New Vista Builders Group LLC for construction of Fire Station No. 5.

• Emergency Management Coordinator Erin Thomas delivered an update on the county’s performance during Tropical Storm Elsa. There was minimal damage, minor coastal flooding, about 500 people lost power, and the county called for a voluntary evacuation of coastal zone A. The shelter opened at the enrichment center held 20 people and six pets, she added.

• Commissioners heard about problems with Pine Island, and the need for dredging. County administrator Jeff Rogers said they would work on an agenda item for the issue but that they are moving forward on the project. Scott Herring, director of public works, said it was a matter of limited personnel and time. “We’re doing the best we can,” he said.