The City of Twin Falls is implementing some new fee and rate increases
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The City of Twin Falls will be implement some new fee and rate increases that will most likely go into effect in October.
On Monday the Twin Falls City Council approved new fee and rate increases, which they say were necessary to help fund increasing costs and operational expenses.
“The legislator has encouraged growth to be able to pay for growth. That has been their mantra over the course of the past few years, and we want to make sure we are following that directive,” said Twin Falls City Manager, Travis Rothweiler.
To stay on par with what other neighboring cities are doing, fee increases were made in part to things like returned checks, deposits, turning the water back on for nonpayment, and late fee payments. The city staff reports said the returned payment and delinquent fees have not been increased at the City of Twin Falls for over 25 years. Additionally, the city sends out about 300 late payment notices a week. The reports also stated that about 80% of those who have the water turned off for non-payment will pay their account balance and have it back on within 24 hours, or a matter of days. The resources they are using to pay their account after shut-off are a significant added cost to the city.
“What we found in like overdraft charges is when that charge was being passed on to the organization it was at a higher rate than what we were assessing those who pass along the bad checks,” said Rothweiler.
Additionally, with the municipal cost index hovering above 12%, the city will add modest fee and rate increases to the airport, engineering, parks, and police. The airport is looking at new rate adjustments to landing fees and aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) fees, along with a new survey & recording fee. Engineering will have a new fee for pressurized irrigation system installation, and the police department will increase its fee for pawnshop employee fingerprinting. The report said it cost the city $10 to take the prints, and $33.25 is what the State of Idaho charges Twin Falls to run the checks. The city will also require a 12- month commitment for residents requesting an additional 95-gallon cart, as citizens order them for a short period of time to clean up leaves or yard trash, then call to have them picked up. The city said a 12-month commitment will help reduce the cost of picking up carts and the associated recordkeeping.
“Most of the fees that we increase, especially on a water meter, is because we are seeing an increase cost in the water meter, and we want to make sure that increase cost is being passed along to the appropriate party,” said Rothweiler.
The city manager said the new rates and fees are part of the budgetary process. The city council will adopt the new city budget in late August, and then the adopted budget will go into effect on October 1st.
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