By JESSICA CRAWFORD
• Daily Leader
During a work session last week, the city commission adopted new fees for 2009 for several services provided throughout the city. A specific animal control fee was thought unreasonable by the commission, therefore the work session was scheduled in order to discuss all proposed fee changes.
The surrender fee proposed by the animal control was doubled.
Commissioners were concerned the jump from $15 to $30 would dissuade individuals from surrendering an animal due to a high out-of-pocket cost. Ultimately, the surrender fee was increased by only $5.
“If I bring to you a puppy I found on 2nd St. and you say, ‘Give me $30,’” vice mayor Doug LaFreniere said, “You just might find that same puppy on 4th St.”
According to Financial Director Chris Ford, most fees throughout the city were not changed. However, most changes did occur within the animal shelter.
“For the most part, most things they did stick with,” Ford said.
Animal redemption fees, where people have to retrieve their pets from the animal shelter, went from $25 to $35 for the first offense. The second offense jumped from $50 to $70. However, this cost will be implemented with every redemption of the said animal thereafter.
Originally, there was a proposed third offense fee of $140, which was a $40 increase. The commission decided to do away with the third offense fee all together.
Ford stated a liability insurance regulation was added in order for a food handler to obtain a permit.
“We had a liability insurance requirement, basically, just in order to get a food handler’s permit you have to show proof of liability insurance,” Ford said. “I think we have always had that, we are just adding it to the code book. That really hasn’t changed, it is just more technical.”
The cost of the trash bags available at city hall have increased by $2. This price went into effect on Oct. 29 due to an increase in the manufacturer’s cost.
“Basically, we are just covering our cost,” Ford said. “The manufacturers cost did increase significantly.
“We like them because it kind of helps encourage people to use bags,”
he added. “At $9, I think we are still pretty competitive.”