TREASURE ISLAND — Fees charged for certain recreational activities and beach gatherings, public parking and plan review permitting were all raised during a special Sept. 19 budget hearing.
Assistant Finance Director Mike Munger explained the citywide fee schedule is a list of fees as approved by the city commission in one cohesive document.
Amendments in the incorporated fee schedule are a result of a collaborative effort among city staff and the commission, he noted.
“Staff reviewed all fees and charges in their respective areas and the proposed rates are reflective of the discussions at the Aug. 3 budget workshops.”
However, one modification that evoked discussion by city commissioners is a change that reflects an hourly charge for review of civil engineering plans, rather than a one-time cost for each inspection. The city contracts with an outside firm to provide plan review and inspection services.
Community Development Director Kathy Gademer explained under the current scenario a person pays a set $140 fee every time plans are reviewed by the inspector; however, plans can be sent back and forth between a contractor and plan reviewer several times with a $120 charge accruing each time.
Under the change adopted at the Sept. 19 meeting, the charge would be $140 per hour for single family and duplex civil engineering design review, as well as for preliminary plat, civil and survey engineering review. Civil engineering plan review for multifamily, commercial, and institutional projects would be changed from a $280 fee to $140 per hour.
For example, the civil or structural engineering inspection permit fee for a raised seawall will be $140 per hour, with subsequent reviews billed at $120 per hour, rather than set fees of $140 for the first inspection and $100 for subsequent reviews. The same fees will also be in effect for drainage plans and subsequent resubmittals. According to city officials, plan resubmittals are usually caused by the inspector not agreeing with the contractor’s design plans.
Gademer said the change is designed to better recoup the amount incurred by the city to pay its consultant inspector for plan review and to reduce the amount of time plans go back and forth between the contractor and inspector.
Commissioner Saleene Partridge requested the fee schedule be tabled until contractors had a chance to weigh in on the changes.
However, Partridge and fellow commissioners subsequently agreed with a suggestion by Mayor Tyler Payne that they adopt the fee schedule and revisit the plan review portion in 30 days if there is significant objection.
Recreation fee changes
Another section of the fee schedule addresses increases to some parks and recreation fees to recover increased operating and personnel costs. Munger noted the fee schedule also repealed marina rental fees, since municipal boat slips have been decommissioned due to their poor condition, until they are rebuilt.
The 10-week summer camp rate went from $500 to $600 for residents and from $750 to $800 for non-residents. The weekly camp rate rose from $90 to $100 for residents and $120 to $130 for non-residents.
Winter camp rates also rose from $25 per day for residents to $30, and $30 per day for non-residents to $35.
Rates for various recreational activities such as tennis and golf also rose slightly, but pickleball rates remained unchanged.
Events on the beach
The cost for staff only to review a request by a resident or business to use the public beach went up $25 to $100 for a request to hold a wedding, memorial service, picnic or social gathering with up to 50 attendees; $125 for an event with 51 to 100 participants; and $250 for an event with more than 100 participants. Non-residents will be charged about $25 more. The cost includes a 10-by-10 tent, chairs or wedding arch.
If approved, an additional special event fee will be assessed based on impact as determined by staff and approved by the city commission, the fee schedule notes. Such impacts could include pre-event permitting and planning, attendance, number of total event days, traffic and parking impacts, parking, road closures, use of commercial equipment, event coordination and administration. The cost for an event considered low-impact is $500, medium impact $1,000, and high-impact $2,000.
Other fees include costs for city services such as trash pickup and disposal, police special detail and other services that will be reimbursed to the city upon approval of the event by the city manager or city commission. Determination of whether a use requires commission approval under this subsection shall be at the sole discretion of the city manager or designee.
Parking rate increases
Munger noted the fee schedule includes a parking rate increase from $3 to $3.25 per hour on weekends and city holidays, while the Community Center and downtown lot remain at $2.50 per hour, with the fee being $3 per hour all other times.
Sunset Beach street parking is now $5 on Saturday, Sunday and city holidays, with resident parking permits remaining at $45 per year.
City event parking will be no less than $15 but up to $20 a day for each vehicle.
Munger said the fee schedule also creates a fee for car seat installation and CPR training courses. Community safety fees will cost $45 for a safe sitter course and $25 for a CPR course.
Utility rate changes
In his report Munger explained the city had to institute an average 6% sewer rate increase to reflect capital investments and pass-through increases in treatment costs charged by St. Petersburg, as advised following 5-year rate study.
The city also implemented a 6% residential, multi-family, and commercial garbage rate increase for the future replacement of garbage trucks, and a flat residential and multifamily recycling rate, along with a 10% stormwater rate increase to enable the city to undertake larger and more impactful stormwater projects.
An entire list of all the charges for various city services listed in the fee schedule is available on the city’s website. The fee schedule was adopted unanimously on second and final reading and will take effect Oct 1.