Cd'A City Council to consider fee increases

Garbage, parking, dog licenses, parade permits could all see hikes

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Laurie Deus, an animal control officer for the City of Coeur d'Alene, talks with Richard Davis at the Central Bark Dog Park during her afternoon rounds Monday. The city is proposing increases in fees dealing with dog licensing, impound fees and the board appeals process.

COEUR d'ALENE - It's the cost of doing business if business is garbage, parking, parades, hoops and pooches.

No time is a good time to raise rates, but the city of Coeur d'Alene is bumping some of its fees to offset the cost of providing a handful of services, namely parking and commercial and residential garbage pick ups.

First the good news: The most commonly used city parking will stay the same - the first two free hours will continue to be free, and monthly parking passes won't move.

After that, the third hour at the Third Street parking lot will rise from $1 to $3, the fourth hour will go from $2 to $4, and up the line. The tenth hour will cost $10 with the fee change, double the current $5.

"A year ago it was very conscientious to hold off because of that nasty recession," said Troy Tymesen, finance director, on the proposal to bump department fees. "It's never a popular idea to raise rates. We've been biting the bullet, if you will, hoping the economy would come back."

It's the first bump in some of the departments since at least 2003.

The extra revenues would be used to offset operating costs. For parking fees, the extra cash could be used to bring on electronic pay stations around city lots that accept cash and plastic.

The cost for garbage collection would take a hit, too.

Up will be the cost for the most common bins.

The 96 gallon bin will raise three quarters from $8.85 to $9.60. The 35 gallon bin will go up nearly a buck, from $6.75 a month to $7.70.

The rise in garbage costs doesn't have anything to do with the city adding single stream recycling last year, but the contract among partnering agencies has an annual increase provision based on fuel and labor costs between 1.5 and 2.75 percent.

Back to parking costs, those would go up at the lot at Independence Point - starting with the first free hour, which will jump to a buck. The second hour will jump another buck and the third hour will double from $1.50 to $3.

"I think if the city needs the money, I can pay a dollar," said Margaret Hildahl, who parks at Independence Point to walk, recreate or stay in the car and watch the lake for a quick break. "It will take a while getting used to the change."

For dog owners, licensing an unaltered pooch will go from $15 to $20, altered from $7 to $10. Impounding the runaway will go from $20 to $30.

For those who want an appeal board to ask forgiveness on their pet's stray ways, a brand new appeal board processing fee is proposed at $75.

Other proposed increases: Gym rental fee would go from $12 to $25 an hour for AAU basketball; renting the City Park bandshell and amphitheater at Riverstone would jump $25 to $125; and parade and special event fees would go from $100 to $125 for low impact events, from $200 to $250 for medium impact events, and from $500 to $625 for high impact events.

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