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11:46 AM Thu, Nov. 15th

City fee increases would add $140,000 to general fund

Finance Director Tina Moline, left, and Interim City Manager Jim Bacon at a special session Jan. 9.

Photo courtesy of City of Kingman video

Finance Director Tina Moline, left, and Interim City Manager Jim Bacon at a special session Jan. 9.

KINGMAN – Finance Director Tina Moline is proposing fee increases that would add $140,000 to the city’s general fund and $55,000 to the water fund, with a public hearing on the fees set for Feb. 6.

Fees increases are proposed to cover general administration and services such as building permits, business licenses, fire services, engineering and planning and zoning.

City staff reviewed services provided to citizens, businesses and other agencies in Kingman and found that many fees had not been adjusted for 10 to 20 years, Moline said at the City Council’s Jan. 16 meeting.

Some services were being provided at no charge at all for end users, she told Council members.

It’s important that user fees cover the costs associated with providing these services at least partially, if not fully, the finance director said.

She wants to develop a policy for periodic review of the city’s user fees and create a comprehensive fee schedule for ease of reference.

“The biggest impact, of course, is adjusting fees to cover the cost of services provided,” she said.

Fees need to be standardized throughout various county departments, as some charge different copy fees and CD fees.

“One of the things that surprised me are copy fees that are double the private sector,” Councilwoman Jen Miles said. “What message are we sending there?”

The last comprehensive fee review was performed in 2005, and since then, very few new fees were established. Meanwhile, the cost of providing those services has increased, Moline said.

Not only have salary adjustments been made over the years, but insurance and benefits have also increased. The $10 minimum wage that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2017, has greatly affected the costs associated with providing park, recreation, and pool-related services.

According to Moline’s presentation, the fee increases will add $34,000 for fire services; $55,000 for engineering services; $23,000 for planning and zoning; $33,000 for parks, recreation and pools; and $50,000 for the city-owned Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course.

KART (Kingman Area Regional Transit) fees will see a slight reduction.

“I’m not sure I’m going to recommend approval of all these fees,” interim City Manager Jim Bacon said. “What Tina’s giving you is a maximum recommended fee schedule.”

The reduction in KART fees is an easy one, Bacon said, but he’s not ready to recommend a number of other fees.

“I’m just by nature reluctant to say I’m all in for these fees,” he said.