City fee hikes suggested

By Marlena Hartz : CNJ staff writer

The city of Clovis wants to raise fees for city services to recoup costs incurred in providing them, according to city officials.

The City Commission will vote Thursday on recommending fee increases for animal control, garbage, inspections, library and wastewater services, according to city documents.

Recommended increases made by a Revenue Review Committee comprised of city commissioners and Clovis citizens will vary. Rates for garbage pick-up, for instance, would increase by 12 percent for residents and business owners. Library fines would double.

According to Clovis City Manager Joe Thomas, the increases are needed to help counter rising operation costs, felt acutely in wastewater and garbage management, and help offset revenue spent in the operation of the library and the animal shelter.
“Currently,” Thomas said, “the fees charged (in wastewater and sanitation) do not cover the cost to maintain the systems and provide the services.

“Our enterprise funds are not breaking even because of increases in fuel cost, electrical costs,” he said.

Wastewater service fees were last raised in September 2005 and garbage service fees were last raised in September 1998, according to city documents.

Approximately $850,000 would be generated by increasing fees for those two services, Thomas said.

A 25 percent increase in wastewater service fees would “just barely” cover the cost of operating the wastewater treatment plant, a city document reads. A 12 percent increase in garbage service fees would generate about $360,000, Thomas said — money that is needed to replace aging equipment, according to a city document.

Money generated from the increases would be funneled into the city’s general fund, through which city departments are funded, Thomas said.

Garbage
• Single family: $28.50 per unit per quarter (currently $25.50 per quarter)
• Multi-family: $20.56 per unit per quarter (currently $18.40 per quarter)
• Business: 12 percent increase with a minimum fee of $13.55 per month
Effective: April 1, 2007

Wastewater
• Per drain: $1.52 per month (currently $1.25)
• Minimum rate for sewer account per month: $7.61 per month (currently $6)
Effective: April 1, 2007

Animal control
• Kennel fees: $15 (currently $11)
• Non-city residents: $6.50 per animal (currently non-city residents can bring in a single animal or multiple animals for $6.50 total)
• Callouts in the county: $30 (currently $20)
• Off duty callouts: $50
Effective: April 1, 2007

Library
• To rent Clovis-Carver Public Library Ingram Room or North Annex: $20 per hour (currently $20 for four hours, $35 for more than four hours)
• Late books: 10¢ per day (currently 5¢ per day)
• Maximum fine per item: $5 (currently $2)
Effective: Jan. 1, 2007

Inspections
• Appeal application process: $50 (currently there is no fee)
• Minimum fence permit: $20 (currently there is no fee)
Effective: Jan. 1, 2007