Fees to rise in village as council moves toward more of a “user pay” system

Council act on CAO recommendations to pass bylaws aimed at streamlining village procedures and decrease taxpayer burden on user fees.

 

Keremeos Village Council met for their regular meeting of council on Jan. 23.

A minor amendment to the Affordable Housing Policy in the village’s OCP review was discussed at length over a minor change in wording, prior to the amendment being carried by council. Village staff hope to have the OCP review ready for adoption by the end of June.

A report outling changes to village fees and charges was also received by  council for information purposes. Chief Administrative Officer Laurie Taylor presented the report in order to solicit council’s consideration to changes in the bylaw’s wording, fees and charges. Taylor also wished to consolidate the majority of the village’s fees and charges into one bylaw.

The village proposes to increase a number of development cost charges and fees in order to bring fees and charges within the village into more of a “user pay” situation. The proposed amendments were derived from surveys of other municipalties charges for similar services.

“Taxpayers should not subsidize development fees,” explained Mayor Manfred Bauer when describing the reasoning behind the recommendation.

Some examples of the proposed fee charges include:

–  Zoning bylaw amendment fee to rise from $525 to $1,000.

– An appeal submitted to the board of variance will rise from $150 to $250.

– Building permits to rise from $80 to $150.

– Water connection charges (water on or off during working hours of KID staff will rise from $10 to $35,  outside of regular working hours the cost will rise from $100 to $140. The new fee charges would more accurately represent the village’s true costs for the service.Council gave the fees and charges bylaw first, second and third reading.

Council also passed a motion to streamline the village’s proclamation policy.

Bylaws up for adoption at the Jan.23 meeting included the cemetery amendment bylaw, which set new fees for cemetery use. Council also adopted the village’s revenue anticipation bylaw.