Taxi cabs and garbage lead the list of topics up for discussion at tonight's County Council meeting.

A public hearing will discuss forming a city-county task force that would study cutting Anne Arundel'sgarbage by 50 percent in the next nine years. The resolution to create the task force is proposed by Councilwoman Maureen Lamb, D-Annapolis.

And, for the first time in four years, the council will consider restructuring fares and licensing fees for the county's taxi cab companies. Amendments to the county's taxicab ordinance, sponsored by County Executive Robert R. Neall, also would require cab companies to transport animals licensed to assist the handicapped, such as seeing-eye dogs.

Some handicapped people have complained that cab drivers would not transport their animal assistants, said county spokeswoman Louise Hayman.

The bill allows cab drivers to refuse to transport any animal except those trained to assist the handicapped. Drivers whodo transport animals may charge a fee up to $5.

The increased rates included in the bill are designed to help taxi cab companies coverthe cost of increased liability insurance, said Hayman.

Fares would change from $1.40 for the first one-tenth of a mile plus 10 cents for every additional tenth of a mile to $1.60 for the first one-sixthof a mile plus 20 cents for every additional sixth of a mile. Customers would pay 10 cents for each 20-second period of waiting time, instead of the current 30-second waiting period.

The charge for each suitcase in excess of two would rise from 10 to 25 cents.

Taxicabsworking out of Baltimore-Washington International Airport would be able to add a 50-cent surcharge for trips originating from BWI. And, during snow or other emergency weather conditions, drivers could charge an additional 25 percent of the metered fare, with a minimum surcharge of $1.

Tonight's council meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Arundel Center on Calvert Street, Annapolis.

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