By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
City looks to fines, fees to help raise revenue
Placeholder Image

Richmond Hill City Council had the first reading of a revenue ordinance at the Dec. 16 meeting that could raise the 2009 city revenue five to 10 percent, according to city finance director Bob Whitmarsh.

The ordinance takes into account the recent passing of ordinances to increase fees for items such as building fees, traffic fines and fees for city water.

The ordinance to increase traffic fines was approved earlier in the meeting. RHPD Chief Reynolds said in January tickets will go up $20 - $15 for a "technology fee" and $5 for an administrative fee.

Reynolds projects the added fees will bring in about $20,000 in revenue per year. He said it would help to offset the high costs of having internet service inside patrol cars.

Reynolds said the average speeding ticket in the city currently costs $162, but only $98 goes to the department, with the remainder going to the county and state.

City officials said the increase in building fees for planning and zoning will still see builders paying less for equivalent services than in surrounding areas.

As for the water fees, City Manager Mike Melton said only businesses and 500 out of 3,700 residential customers will see an increase in January. Residential water rates will rise only for those who use an excessive amount.

In other business:

- Council approved the leasing of a $74,595 John Deere back hoe for the public works department. Public works supervisor Rick Lauver said it is a piece of equipment "we rely on pretty heavy, and the old one is about shot."

It is used to install drainage pipes and excavate for water and sewer lines. The item has already been identified in the 2009 budget.

- Planning and Zoning Director Steve Scholar said a carnival almost came to town recently. He said they arrived at a spot near the old Kroger and auto parts store on Hwy. 17, but he stopped them from assembling their equipment because they did not have the proper permits, and the location was not suitable.

Upon hearing they had plans to open up anyway, Scholar said he threatened to cite them if they did not leave the grounds, noting they did not have permission from the property owner to be there. He said they left without incident.

Sign up for our E-Newsletters