City Council: Body discusses 2022 fee increases, possible hearing for Uptown commercial liquor license
Athens city council discussed the increase in some of its 2022 city fees at committee meetings on Monday, some of which have not been adjusted for at least a decade.
Former acting director of service security Tom Pyle suggested several months ago that the city comb through its code and revise all the administrative fees it contains. So far, the process has taken about a month. In conjunction with this review, Council will present six orders during the week of October 18, and an overview of the orders was given on Monday evening.
Some of the ordinances will also help solidify the city code in cases where the language is repeated, Council Chairman Chris Knisely said.
An ordinance to be introduced by City Councilor Chris Fahl, D-4th Ward, would increase yard waste fees from $ 1.50 to $ 2, Knisely said. Permit fees for parades and parades will also be set at $ 200, and a new rental property transfer package will be $ 30.
When a rental property is purchased from the owner, the papers and rental fees need to be transferred from the old owner to the new one, and the new transfer fee will cover that cost, Knisely said.
Orders will include other fee increases, such as motorcycle parking sticker fee increased from $ 20 to $ 40, 72-hour restricted parking violation increased from $ 20 to $ 35, parking fee for overtime going from $ 10 to $ 15 and basic residential sewer rates going from $ 5.55 per month to $ 5.72 per month.
City Councilor Sam Crowl, D-3rd Ward, said he believed the costs for motorcycle parking decals had not increased for about 25 years, and Fahl said the additional fees had not changed. for more than 10 years.
“We have really competitive rates at this point… when you look at Logan and Lancaster,” Fahl said. “I think we’re getting a good deal, and the increased fees are to make sure (the people of Athens) continue to get the services they need.”
Some board members had reservations about the increases. Councilor Arian Smedley, D-1st Ward, said parades are sometimes much smaller than events such as the Return parade and wondered if parade costs could instead be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Crowl said he heard complaints from a resident about the motorcycle parking decals. The resident told Crowl that he would likely no longer purchase a parking sticker due to the increase. The resident was confused about the initial cost of the fee, but said as the fee doubled, he would likely park Uptown and pay the meter with quarters, which he ultimately finds more cost effective.
Crowl said he would be interested to see how many people buy a motorcycle license each year in response to these concerns.
In addition to discussing fees, the Council revisited the announcement of a liquor license application for Boozy Bubbles LLC, 18 S. Court St., which is the location of Bubbles tea and juice company.
Boozy Bubbles applied to the Liquor Control Division for a D3 permit, and some council members expressed concern about the details of the permit and the possibility of a hearing.
Knisely said part of the worry is that Bubbles sells its tea products in plastic cups. If someone came out of Bubbles with an alcoholic drink sold in a similar cup, it could cause problems, as Athens Designated outdoor cooling area, which allows customers to carry alcoholic beverages outside in a designated area of town, is not currently operating, she said.
Crowl also pointed out that there is of them commercial space inside 18 S. Court Street – Bubbles and Firdous Express – complicating the situation and may warrant further consideration of Boozy Bubbles’ application.
Knisely said the body would put together more information this week to read and consider before going ahead with a motion to request a hearing.
The Board also heard a presentation from Third Sun Solar on a solar panel project. The network is said to have targeted construction ending in October 2022. Potential sites include the Athens Library, the Athens Dog Park, the Athens Community Center rooftop, and the Athens Canopy Pool.
“I think we have to see this as one of the things that we are doing – along with the other things that we have been doing for years – to make the city sustainable and resilient,” Fahl said. “And I think resilience is essential. “