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Council raises city fees for building, public works, library, alcohol and more

The New Era of Sweet Home, Oregon

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The Sweet Home City Council raised fees for building permits, Public Works permits and general fees during its regular meeting on Oct. 13.

The fee for Public Works permits had not increased since 1999, according to Public Works Director Mike Adams. Under the resolution approved by council, the fee for a basic right-of-way permit increased from $40 to $60 and was the only change in the fee schedule for Public Works permits.

The fee is supposed to reflect the expenses of actual staff time, material costs and inspection costs for city employees, Adams said.

Among fees on the schedule are connections to city utilities, plan reviews and curb cuts along with the basic fee.

A second resolution approved by the council updated general fees, including photocopies and record reproduction to reflect current cost and technology-audio cassettes has been removed from the schedule; a fee for the recently created temporary RV permit; an increase in the hen recording fee from $40 to $60 and reconveyance fee from $150 to $160; an increased return check fee, from $25 to $35; the addition of a fine, for overdue music CDs at the Pub-he Library; updated fees for GIS services and custom GIS work; and a new "privilege fee" among liquor license fees, based on the state's fee schedule.

The fees were last updated in 2012, City Manager Craig Martin said. Since then increases in the cost of some services, including postage as well as technological changes have necessitated the adjustment of the fees. Other fees reflect changes in operations, programs or policies.

Among the adjustments, photocopying remains at 25 cents per page, but color copies have increased to 50 cents per page, while black and white 11x17 copies decreased from $1 per page to 50 cents per page, and color 11x17 copies have decreased from $1.50 to $1 per page.

The price of a bound copy of the Comprehensive Plan has increased from $5 to $10.

In a third resolution, the council changed building inspection fees.

The City of Sweet Home recently requested to be added to the state ePermitting program and has been working with the state to integrate into that program, Adams said. As a result, city staff learned that existing permit terminology isn't completely consistent with the forms and fee standards required by the state, prompting the adjustments, something that would be required regardless of whether the city joins the ePermitting program.

The city isn't raising the fees, but shifting the methodology in compliance with the state to maintain the same net revenue, Adams said.

The last building program fee adjustment was in 2010.

Present at the meeting were councilors Marybeth Angulo, Ryan Underwood, Greg Mahler, Mayor Jim Gourley, Dave Trask, Bruce Hobbs and Jeff Goodwin.

In other business, the council held the second reading of an ordinance that will prohibit the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places. It will read the ordinance for the third time at its regular meeting on Oct. 27. Following the third reading, the council may act on the ordinance.

Also, Gourley presented a certificate to CH2M, which operates the city's wastewater and water treatment plants, in appreciation for adopting a park, the South Santiam River boat ramp, located off Pleasant Valley Road.

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Original Publication Date: October 21, 2015

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