PENTICTON - Penticton City Council began the City Hall equivalent of looking under the living room furniture upholstery for loose change as it took a look at fees charged in the recreation and building departments.
Council scrutinized booking and administration fees for recreation and building fees, fines and business licenses during the Jan. 11 council meeting as they looked for additional revenues to help reduce the budget deficit, which currenty sits at more than $1.65 million, or 6.36 per cent.
A two per cent increase in booking fees for the Cleland Theatre, gymnasium, convention centre meeting rooms, McLaren Park Arena, museum auditorium, parks and pool rentals was agreed on. The move is expected to generate an additional $7,500.
Council resisted an increase in admission fees for the Penticton Community Centre Pool after staff reported fees were already 40 per cent higher than for other public pools in the Okanagan.
There will be no increase to public skating fees, but council didn’t object to a staff recommendation to raise fitness room fees by five per cent, which will add a projected $8,000 to the city’s 2016 revenue.
Increases proposed to building fees and fines that could add approximately $145,000 to revenues will go to the development services committee for review, while a number of increases to bylaw fees and charges that would add $27,500 to city coffers was approved by council.
Overtime parking tickets would double under the new fees proposed, going to $20 from $10. Other ticket violations paid within 14 days will rise by $5, to $40, and an administration fee for towing and impound would increase to $50 from $26.25.
Council amended two potential increases pertaining to business licence fees, with the proposed changes expected to produce an additional revenue of $36,175.
Council amended the late payment penalty for a business license, and the fine for not having a business licence, making the following adjustments from staff proposals:
- Late payment for business license (currently $35) to $50; staff proposed $250
- Fine for not having a business license (currently $100) to $500; staff proposed $250
Budget Analyst Deb Clipperton calculated the revenue adjustments made by council would result in a revised tax increase of 6.05 per cent.
In an effort to finalize the budget process, council asked for any other budget items to come forward in time for the next council meeting.
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