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Council mulling fee schedule increases

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By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — Changes to the city’s fee schedules are in the works.

Proposed fee changes include an increase in renting the Benedict Park Shelter near the splash pad, an increase in fees to cover the retrieval and copy of reports at the police department and an increase in the liquor license fee when there is a change of location to reflect the states change in fees. 

As part of a proposal before council, one-day rental of the Benedict Park Shelter would increase $20 for residents to $65 and $30 for non-residents to $85. Parks and Recreation Director Gary Wardle said they’re anticipating the Benedict Park shelter is going to be very popular with the addition of the splash pad and restrooms nearby. 

Police Department report retrieval and copy expenses for reports filed in the last two years would increase by $3. Reports three to five pages long would cost $5, reports six to 14 pages would cost $8, and reports 15 to 33 pages would cost $18.

An change of location application for a liquor license would increase $250 to $750. City Clerk Natalie Hoel is asking for the change, so the city can be in compliance with the state.

Budget and Policy Director Bernadette Kimmey said once the city adopts the water sewer and wastewater rates they will be added into the fee resolution. The proposed fee changes went before council during its Dec. 17 meeting after press deadline. 

Year-end budget amendments were also brought before council during its Dec. 17 meeting. Kimmey said there have been various changes that have taken place in the last few months that require budget amendments that are “housekeeping in nature” but don’t affect the bottom line of each fund.

One of the changes Kimmey, along with Wardle, highlighted was the revenue brought in from city’s Turkey Trot. They originally estimated the Turkey Trot would bring in $17,000 in revenue – the same as last year’s event – but the final amount came to $29,829. 

“We ended up with over 1,200 runners this year, we were up about 300, I think. We were just under 1,000 last year,” Wardle said, adding they’re getting pretty close to reaching the maximum number of participants.

Council went into executive session with Attorney Margaret Brubaker for counsel on questions they had about the city’s after-event water report and the oil and gas ordinance. 

 

Fee deferral for
new construction likely to be extended

City Council will most likely extend its fee deferral program for new residential construction through Dec. 31, 2014. During council’s Dec. 10 study session, several city council members expressed their support for the program, which defers the cost of the development impact fees until the time of occupancy.

“It has become a more popular program,” Assistant City Manager for Development Marv Falconburg said. “I think the word is out now and we’ve noticed that especially the smaller, local builders are finding this a helpful program and they’re utilizing it.” 

The program, which was established in 2009 because of the economic downturn, has gone from 20 percent usage last year to 45 percent of usage so far this year. Because the program expires at the end of this month, Falconburg asked council for direction on whether they would like to renew it. 

Councilmen Kirby Wallin, Chris Maslanik and J.W. Edwards, along with Mayor Dick McLean, voiced their support for the program. Wallin said the city is here to support all of its businesses, big and small.

“I think it encourages additional competition in the business arena and allows us to bring in some of those smaller companies that don’t have the opportunity in other communities,” he said. “It also sounds like it might help to increase the multi-family building which is something we desperately need.”

Councilman Chris Maslanik recalled that in 2005, 2006 and 2007,  the city had upwards of 400 single family building permits a year. He said until the city starts seeing those numbers again, he would like to keep the program in place. 

The temporary defferal of the resolution was set to come before council during its Dec. 17 meeting after press time.