County fees will rise in July

Board OKs slight raises for employees

KINGMAN - County employees will be getting a 2.5 percent annual cost of living raise in their paychecks next month. The Board of Supervisors approved a request by County Manager Ron Walker and County Finance Director John Timko to start the paperwork early on salary increases.

The Board also approved a 10 percent increase in fees connected to the Environmental Health Department. The increase will go into effect on July 1.

Food permits for full service restaurants will increase from $520 to $572, permits for fast food restaurants will rise from $385 to $424, day care and nursing home permits will grow from $385 to $424 and catering permits will also increase to $424.

It will cost residents an extra $8 to acquire temporary events permits, from $75 to $83 for a 14-day permit, and from $55 to $61 for a 90-day permit.

Permits for hotels, campgrounds, schools, public pools, pet shops and kennels, restaurant inspections, annual fees and fees for wells and water storage tank installations will also increase. Well fees will increase from $110 to $121, and water tank installation fees will rise by $28, from $280 to $308.

A few permits stayed the same or increased more than 10 percent, such as food handler cards, which are now $20, up from $15 and good for three years instead of two, while transfer of ownership for septic systems will stay at $75. Clerical research fees will stay the same and photocopy fees will decrease from 30 cents to 25 cents.

The Environmental Health Department is self-sufficient and reviews the fees it charges to the public once a year to determine if they need to change.

The Board also instructed staff to look into why a final inspection was not performed prior to the expiration of some building permits for The Home Depot in Bullhead City.

County Supervisor Tom Sockwell said the Board had received two letters from the city of Bullhead stating that permits for grading work and a retaining wall on the site had expired and a final inspection had not been completed.

County Manager Ron Walker said he had not seen the letters and would have Planning and Zoning staff look into the matter.

The Board also approved an application to the state for the use of surface water for fishponds and wildlife purposes in Johnston Canyon. The canyon is located near Clack Canyon in Kingman.

The Board also approved the development of an asbestos removal plan and demolition of the old senior center in Lake Havasu City.

Supervisor Buster Johnson asked if a cost benefit analysis had been done on tearing down the building. Earlier this year, Johnson had asked if the building could not be rented out to the Lake Havasu Boys and Girls Club.

Walker said an analysis had not been done, but the staff had looked at costs to rehabilitate the building. The county would essentially have to gut the entire building in order to do so. "It's basically a non-starter. It's not useful for anything," Walker said. "It's not a healthy environment."

Johnson then asked if the Board would get a recommendation on the value of the land. Lake Havasu City recently changed its zoning to allow four-story buildings. The value of the property may increase significantly in the future.

Walker agreed that the value of the land may increase and a reappraisal of the land may be in order after the building is removed.

Johnson suggested if the building was removed, the county could use the site to expand county offices.

In other business, the Board:

• extended a contract with Canteen for food services for the county detention facilities.

• directed staff to help form a committee to create plans to celebrate the Centennial of Arizona in 2012.

• approved an FAA grant for $2.9 million for improvements to the Bull