Members of Jacksonville City Council voted Tuesday night to give Advanced Waste services an economic incentive of $700,000 if the company decides to keep its headquarters in Jacksonville.
The incentive passed with a vote of 16 to two despite recent questions about whether the trash company has honored its waste-removal contract with the city.
John Winkler, president of Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County, said Advanced Waste may actually owe the city millions.
"No matter how you slice it, Advanced Disposal is making $10 a ton on handling this yard waste," said said. "But they're only supposed to receive that much if they recycle it. They have not been paying us the $7 a ton they're supposed to be paying us."
Advanced Waste said staying put would bring 85 high-paying jobs and, as a result, more tax revenue to the city.
"We are looking at where to go so we need reasons to stay in Jacksonville," said Advance Disposal's Mary O'Brien. "Hopefully it won't come to that, but if we leave, we will be taking jobs and our business elsewhere."
Councilman John Crescimbeni does not agree with the decision to give Advance Disposal the incentive to stay. He told Channel 4 he is concerned about the company's practices.
"I cannot give taxpayer dollars to a company that may or may not be doing something wrong. I don’t feel right about it, especially until we investigate further," said Crescimbeni. "Some may say they are apples and oranges, but to me they are in the same basket, and I just cannot support it."
Council members said there was very little public discussion about the incentive package Tuesday. Two people in favor of the incentive spoke during public discussion.