broad fee hikes
Recreation, planning charges
By GREGORY FOLEY
Express Staff Writer
Fees for numerous public services
fulfilled by the city of Ketchum stand to go up sharply this spring.
Ketchum City Council members
Monday, March 15, reviewed proposals to increase fees for services
provided by the city Parks Department and Planning Department.
The proposals were issued by Parks
and Recreation Director Kirk Mason and Planning Director Harold Moniz,
after Mayor Ed Simon and the City Council determined all city department
heads should develop plans to increase revenues by updating their fees.
Last month, Mason proposed a set
of fee increases for city recreation programs and permits for the
exclusive use of city park facilities.
For city recreation programs,
Mason called for a sliding-scale fee structure that would increase by
approximately $15 the cost for enrolling one child in three or more
As part of the proposal,
scholarships would remain available.
In the plan to increase park use
fees, citizens would maintain their ability to freely visit city parks
but would be asked to pay a fee to reserve a park facility for their
exclusive use. Under the proposal, Ketchum residents would pay $30 per
event and nonresidents would pay $60 per event.
The Parks Department fee increases
would raise approximately $4,000 in the first year they are implemented.
The department currently brings in approximately $40,000 per year in
After a brief public hearing
Monday on the proposed recreation fee increases, council members delayed
taking action, in part because the appropriate paperwork to approve the
increases had not been submitted.
Councilwoman Terry Tracy, the
former director of the Parks Department, objected to the increases, just
as she did during two previous reviews of the plan.
"I still think that we’re going
down the wrong road and we should be looking at other ways to raise
revenue," Tracy said.
No members of the public objected
to the fee increases.
Council members decided to
continue on April 5 their review of all Parks Department fee increases.
Council members also discussed
Monday a broad set of fee increases for city planning services.
Moniz said his department has not
raised its fees since 1996. The department brought in $51,000 in fee
revenues in 2003.
The increases generally range from
25 to 30 percent for individual services.
Under the proposal, the fee for an
applicant to appeal a planning decision to the City Council would
increase from $75 to $500—a figure that will likely be reduced.
Councilman Randy Hall said the
city should closely consider the impacts of increasing development
"We might want to look at whether
we discourage or encourage development, based on how much empty space we
have," Hall said.
The council has not yet scheduled
a public hearing on the proposed planning fee increases.