City raising licenses, fees and utility chargesIt will cost more to license a cat, operate a bar or run water from the faucet in Jamestown as of Jan. 1. The Jamestown Finance and Legal Committee approved increases for all utilities, fees and licenses charged by the city during its regular meeting Tuesday.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
It will cost more to license a cat, operate a bar or run water from the faucet in Jamestown as of Jan. 1. The Jamestown Finance and Legal Committee approved increases for all utilities, fees and licenses charged by the city during its regular meeting Tuesday.
Jeff Fuchs, city administrator, said the increases had been included in the budget information acted on by the city in July and August but required action by the City Council to actually go into effect.
“Utilities are going up 5 percent,” he said. “Everything else is varied.”
It was that variety that caused concern for committee member Dan Buchanan.
“We’re raising kitty licenses by 25 percent and a liquor license by 7 percent,” he said. “Liquor licenses are too low for the costs of law enforcement.”
Fuchs said the increases in costs for liquor licenses varied with some classes going up $60 per year. The city has several classes of alcohol licenses depending on the type of alcohol, whether it is sold for on- or off-premise consumption and if food is also served. An on- and off-sale beer license, for example, would go from $660 per year to $720. A cat license would go from $17 to $20.
Mayor Katie Andersen said it would be cost prohibitive to raise liquor license costs to a level where they pay for all law enforcement costs associated with alcohol use.
“You can’t change that large an amount,” she said. “A pretty good chunk of the law enforcement budget goes for things related to alcohol.”
Buchanan suggested a 40 percent raise in alcohol license fees. There was no motion to that effect.
A motion to approve the increases in license and utility fees as proposed passed on a 3-1 vote with Buchanan dissenting and committee member Ramone Gumke absent.
Residents in the neighborhood of 13th Avenue Southwest voiced concerns about the curbs associated with a street paving project this summer.
Jim Morris, neighborhood resident, said the road and curb were too high.
“They built the road a foot above my driveway,” Morris said. “My wife’s car is in the garage and can’t get it out over the curb.”
Morris had requested the curbs be cut down at the locations of driveways. To do this, he would be required to sign a waiver granting the city immunity to legal actions concerning water damage in the neighborhood.
“We’re getting nowhere,” Morris said. “I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve never been so disappointed in my city.”
Andersen said the city would like to work with them but would need the input of the city engineer, who was not available because of illness.
A meeting between the families of the neighborhood and city officials will be scheduled for some time when the city engineer was available.
In other action, the Finance and Legal Committee reversed its denial of a taxi license for William Mickelson. Police Chief Scott Edinger said he investigated criminal charges listed on a previous background check and determined the charges were listed in error.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452
or by email at email@example.com