Dillon proposes fee changes to account for raises, growing expenses
Dillon approved several fee adjustments in the first reading of an ordinance on Tuesday. To offset a town staff salary increase of four percent, the ordinance would increase cemetery fees by four percent, while halving application and excavation fees for certain developments.
If approved on second reading, fees for cremation and burial will increase four percent starting Jan. 1, 2016, to account for the four percent payroll increase that was approved this summer.
For example, one cremation cost will increase from $120 to $125. The cost of a cemetery plot will not change.
“Staff costs are going up four percent next year,” Dillon finance director Carri McDonnell said. “We’re asking to cover the same cost using an open-and-close fee for the cemetery.”
Fees for the Dillon Marina would also see an increase next year, to reflect growing operating expenses as the marina offers more services. Dillon Marina manger Bob Evans proposed a six to 10 percent increase for boat rentals, storage and slips.
“We’re still competitive,” Evans said, noting that with the fee, the marina would still fall below prices across the state.
While marina fees have not changed since 2014, operating costs have jumped 28 percent in that time.
The cost of boat rentals will increase between $10 and $20, depending on the service, while the cost for dry storage will jump significantly, with the cost of storing a boat up to 24 feet increasing from $500 to $550. Slip fees also saw a notable increase.
On the other hand, certain excavation and application fees would be halved under the new ordinance. For a single-family home, grading and excavation costs would decrease from $480 to $240. Commercial excavation would also cost significantly less.
The cost to modify a level-four development permit was also halved.
“I always like seeing fees go down,” Mayor Kevin Burns said. “I think all of the rate changes makes sense, for the marina as well as the others.”
Water volume charges will see a two percent increase based on recommendations by HDR Engineering to gradually increase commercial rates to match residential rates by 2017. For a nonresidential or mixed-use development, the cost will increase from $5.50 to $5.60 per 1,000 gallons of use.
“We truly look at (fees) every year,” McDonnell said.
She noted that they may only be raised to cover existing costs.
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