UPDATE: (7:35 p.m.) City council voted to keep the $7.50 monthly trash pickup rate for seniors and disabled citizens in Canton. Seniors will not face the proposed nearly 50% rate hike.
CANTON, Ga. -- For years, Canton seniors and the disabled have gotten a big break on what they pay for garbage collection.
Many Canton seniors shell out $7.50 a month while other households pay $16.50.
But even with twenty-one percent of Canton residents getting the discount, the city is still making a nearly $150,000 profit on garbage collection.
But, if a resolution passes at the Canton City Council meeting tonight, that $7.50 senior rate could jump almost 50 percent. It would grow to $11 a month.
Gene Hobgood, Canton's Mayor, doesn't like the idea of hiking the rate and does not want it approved.
"I'm not in favor of it certainly," he said.
"There are some (seniors and disabled homeowners) that really need that help out there. I think the cost of medicines, all of it going up, but incomes do not seem to change that much," Hobgood added.
"We are currently making thousands of dollars on our garbage services. It's not like we are looking to raise the rates on seniors just to make it break even. We are making money now," he said.
Despite the fact that the City of Canton is making a profit, seniors, many on fixed incomes, are up in arms.
"I don't think it should be put on the backs of seniors. We are all on fixed incomes and it is just not fair to us," said Russ Guinn, a Canton senior and homeowner.
"Everything is going up and now its garbage. It is just not right. We base our budget on what we have now and every time something goes up it makes it harder on us," he added.
Seniors are expected to show up at the Council meeting and make it clear they want the $7.50 to stay as it is.