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7:25 PM Fri, Oct. 19th

Empty seats for city's public outreach on fees

KINGMAN – City staff on Monday held a public outreach on proposed recent changing fees to give community members the opportunity for a question-and-answer session, but no residents were in attendance at Council Chambers come time for the meeting’s commencement.

Informational packets, which would have been distributed to the public, provided examples of user fees like the ones being proposed. User fees are charges on services that are directly provided to a recipient. Examples given included false alarm fees, golf course fees and subdivision reviews.

Numerous department heads and representatives were present, including those from Kingman’s fire, police and parks departments. Mayor Monica gates was also in attendance.

“I was disappointed that no one from the community nor any members of the Council were in attendance. It is important that the City has the opportunity to demonstrate the need for or the recommendation to adjust fees for the services we provide in a public forum,” Gates said in an email.

She added that input from residents would have provided for in-depth consideration of policy regarding services the City would continue to subsidize such as public transit, public swimming pool use and additional quality-of-life services.

“There could have been policy discussion on whether or not adopting tiered water rates would encourage water conservation,” Gates said. “We could have examined the proposed increased building fees and asked the question: What impact would increased building fees have in attracting or discouraging new business to our community?”

According to the information packet provided at the public outreach, fee increases would add to the general fund $34,000 for fire services; $23,000 for planning and zoning; $33,000 for parks, recreation and pools; and $40,000 for the city-owned Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course. Fee increases for engineering services would add $47,700 to the water fund and $7,300 to the wastewater fund for a total of $55,000.

“We will continue to work to better inform our residents of upcoming meetings and town halls,” Gates said. “I would like our community to be informed and engaged in current events and issues. It’s our town, it’s our future.”

Proposed fee increases and establishment of new fees will be considered by Council at a regularly scheduled Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Mohave County Administration Building’s auditorium, 700 W. Beale St.

Additional information on the potential changes can be found on the City of Kingman website, www.cityofkingman.gov.