Scottsdale City Council approves wide-ranging fee, rate increases

The Scottsdale City Council. (File photo)

Several municipal fees and rates will see an uptick for the coming fiscal year as the Scottsdale City Council approved a series of resolutions and ordinances marking the changes.

The unanimous decision — which came at the council’s May 14 meeting — will affect fees and rates in seven different areas. Those categories include planning and development; tourism and events; WestWorld; community services; fire; solid waste; and water resources.

In enterprise rates, the city plans to make increases to the base fees of both the water and sewer funds as well as increases to several miscellaneous water and sewer rates. The city will also adopt a solid waste rate increase for residential and commercial customers.

Miscellaneous rates include various meter and service line fees; fire service line; construction hydrant meter deposit; turn off/on service within 24 hour period fee; raise/lower meter over 15 feet fee; and commercial water hauler capital recovery fee.

All water rates will take effect Nov. 1 of this year while the rest will come to fruition July 1. Overall, city staff anticipate these changes to yield $5.4 million more in revenue, garnering almost $3.9 million from water resources and almost $1.6 million from public works.

In non-enterprise rates, there will be increases to base fees for planning and development services to “help cover inflationary costs and department operating costs to provide for a better customer experience and to properly and timely address customer needs,” city staff say in a report to council.

There will also be the establishment of a marshaling yard/storage fee; a development agreement application fee; and a fee to charge electric vehicles if public electric vehicles charging stations are installed.

Other planning and development changes came to wireless communications facilities fees; small wireless facilities in right-of-way fees; and stormwater management fees.

For tourism and events, the city will make increases to special events application review and permit fees as well as special event directional banner program application review and permit fees.

At WestWorld, there will be slight increases to RV parking fees; outdoor hall horse stalls fees; and labor rate with equipment fees.

The city also plans for fee increases in various sports and recreation areas.

These include Indian School Park field rental and preparation; Scottsdale Sports Complex rentals; aquatics sponsored team/partner; daily commercial film permit; damaged/lost library materials/kit replacement; drop-in table tennis at senior centers; and the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park train and carousal rides.

The last batch of fee increases surround fire service safety permits. The increase is because of the “higher cost of issuing permits in man hours and growing economy resulting in a greater number of events needing permitting,” city staff say in a council report.

Of these non-enterprise funds, the city estimates to pull in about $2.8 million from these fee and rate increases.

Per Scottsdale’s comprehensive financial policies and governing guidance, the city must examine its enterprise user fees annually “to ensure recovery of direct and indirect costs of service, debt service, provide adequate funding for future capital needs” and receive the City Council’s approval, city staff say.

The policies also require all other user fees and charges undergo periodic examination to “determine the direct and indirect cost of service recovery.”

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at jmartinez@newszap.com or at 623-445-2738

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