City Council reviews new, revised fees

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SANDPOINT — As City Council goes through its budget process, the review of city fees is an annual event.

City Administrator Jennifer Stapleton presented council with proposed new fees and revised fees last week. While council members voted to approve the fees as proposed, a public hearing is required before final approval of any new or changed fees greater than 5 percent.

Proposed new fees include a $100 refundable Sandpoint Community Hall key deposit fee to cover costs of rekeying the locks if it is lost, a $60 background check for pawn license fee and a $25 business license update fee for businesses to change or update a current license.

While the business license update fee is proposed as a new fee, Stapleton said, it is actually replacing an existing practice, which results in a higher fee. The fee would also require an ordinance change, she said.

"Under our current business license requirements, any time that we have a business that is making a change to their business license, so they change location, they changed owners ... any time that we have a change like that, under our current ordinance and our fees for businesses, they need to come in, we cancel their existing business license, and they have to apply for a brand new license," Stapleton said.

The cost for a new license is $50. Stapleton said there were 35 location changes in her first year at the city.

Mechanical permit fees were included as a new fee structure consistent with state fees and fee schedules, so it is easier for the contractor to understand. The final proposal under new fees includes a hydrant permit fee, also a fee structure, to include usage rates per 1,000 gallons of water for "in town" and "out of town."

Several fee changes were proposed as well. Existing Community Hall rental fees are proposed to increase by $5. So the cost of renting the main room would increase from $35 to $40 per hour, or the cost of renting the entire facility would increase from $60 to $65 per hour.

City staff also proposed a revised per-ticket fee at Memorial Field, which currently charges $1 per ticket for Lake Pend Oreille School District events to supplement maintenance costs and rejuvenation of the field after use. Non-LPOSD events are proposed at $1.25 per ticket to supplement costs. City field use, per team, league, and season fees are proposed to increase 8 percent or $2 to supplement increased costs of administering the program and wear and tear on the facilities/fields.

Other proposed fee increases include moorage fees, garbage pickup services, special events and commercial events at parks, park picnic shelter rentals, and rentals of tennis, basketball and volleyball courts for sports tournaments.

"The majority of these fees are related to cost factors going up," Stapleton said.

A public hearing on the proposed new fees and revised fees is scheduled for Aug. 16.

Mary Malone can be reached by email at mmalone@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.

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