Airport late fees, cemetery and recreational facility use fees will all increase if the Chadron City Council approves the recommendations suggested by city staff.
The city currently does not charge a late fee on past-due airport bills, but is proposing to do so, according to the fee ordinance presented to council last week for its first reading. The draft calls for charging a 5% late fee on any airport bill that is 30 days past due.
Council members supported a late fee in general but weren’t sold on a one-time 5% fee. Councilman George Klein and Vice Mayor Keith Crofutt suggested a 1.5-2% interest rate accruing monthly to encourage late payers to pay the bill to avoid additional fees. Councilman Mark Werner, however, said he would rather see a flat fee as he does not believe such a small percentage would be enough to cover the time staff spends on collections.
“We’ll do a little bit more research (on state law),” said City Manager Greg Yanker, adding that the suggested 5% fee was simply a way to open the discussion on the issue.
An additional fee at the airport – a daily rental of bulk hangar space if it’s available – was also added to the fee ordinance at $40 per day.
Several cemetery fees are expected to increase in the new fiscal year as well. The cost for a cemetery space will increase by $100 to $400, while openings over 40 inches will be $450 and under 40 inches will be $200. The city is also proposing an additional $150 fee to open a plot if the ground is frozen. Moving a body inside the cemetery will increase to $1,000, while moving a body outside of the cemetery will double to $500.
Calvary Cemetery will also see its annual usage fee increase to $450, up from $225.
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Teams that wish to use the city’s recreational facilities, such as the baseball and soccer fields, will see an added $5 per person fee. Yanker said the new charge will help the city recoup some of the maintenance costs.
“It’s a very small dollar amount compared to what we put into the facilities.”
Payment will be made when teams sign their facility use agreement with the city.
Other proposed changes to the fee ordinance include:
- a new $15 past due fee for chicken permits
- Little Swimmers diapers (sold at the Aquatics Center) will increase from 75 cents to $1
- youth swim team practice fees will be removed from the ordinance and done on a contract basis
- tobacco licenses will have a $10 administrative fee added
- solicitors licenses will increase to $200 annually, $50 per week or $25 per day
- city maps will increase to $10 each
- black and white photocopies will increase to 25 cents per page
- requests for city records that take more than four hours of work will be the actual calculated labor cost
- scanning of documents will cost $1 per page
- city coffee cups will be on sale for $8
- carnival/circus permits will go up from $25 per day to $100 per day
- electrician and plumbers fees will increase to $50 annually
- fireworks stands will have to pay $250 for an occupation fee rather than pay a solicitors fee
- sewer tap/connection fees will increase to $400
- a category for residential owner occupied-risk deposit will be added, with the fee set at 150% of the highest bill
- commercial wastewater hauler compliance testing will be the cost of the text plus 40%
- water tap/connection fees will be the cost of materials, two hours of labor plus 40%
The council will review the proposed changes to the fee ordinance two more times before approving them.