Fee increases on hold due to lack of supportPublished 8:43am Tuesday, March 23, 2010
By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News
A recommended 10-percent hike in the fee schedule to use city park facilities failed 2-2 Monday night.
Voting for the increase were Second Ward Dowagiac City Councilmen Bob Schuur and Jim Dodd, with First Ward members Junior Oliver and Lori Hunt opposed.
Third Ward’s representatives, Mayor Pro Tem Leon Laylin and Dr. Charles Burling missed the meeting.
City Manager Kevin Anderson proposed the new park fees, which have not been increased since 2005.
Park fees are reviewed and adjusted to cover actual costs of field preparation, litter collection and lighting.
To maintain that status, Anderson said, rates need to be adjusted to cover wage increases for non-union Grounds Department employees performing park maintenance and field preparation.
Staff recommended that the 10-percent boost be effective March 22.
Anderson noted the proposed rates have no impact on American Legion, Connie Mack or Dowagiac Boys Baseball Senior League play.
These self-funded youth programs utilize the facilities at no charge.
Likewise, a Building Department permit fee revision will have to wait due to the same 2-2 deadlock.
A major restructuring of those fees took place in 2000, when it was determined to annually review and adjust charges in a manner similar to other departments.
Anderson said six pages of Building Department fee adjustments are consistent with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is 2.7 percent rounding to the nearest 25-cent increment.
New fees would have taken effect April 1.