City’s fee schedule reviewed

Two items were before Warren City Council during a special meeting Monday evening.

The first was a resolution to state that the interim financing for the wastewater treatment plant upgrades is non-electoral debt. City Solicitor Andrea Stapleford said that city staff have been working to both secure the interim financing as well as the PennVEST (Pennsylvania Infrastructure and Investment Authority) funding that will pay for the project.

The resolution was approved unanimously.

Council then reviewed the city’s fee schedule.

Several fees were highlighted and discussed.

City Administrator Mary Ann Nau explained that the city police fee for fingerprinting has been recommended for an increase from $10 to $20, impounded vehicle fee up to $25 per day as well as increased fees for construction trailers and dumpsters located on city rights of way.

Councilman John Lewis asked for clarity on the no-impact home-based business fee. Nau said that the city has an application and, in the ordinance, there was a process to be developed for someone who wants to put in a home-based business.

She said that such an application requires an inspection to determine whether the business would impact neighbors. “That would be a new fee” this year, she said, “to cover the administration of the program.”

Another new fee is the fireworks display fee. Nau said that it is primarily for the Fourth of July as no other entities have applied for the display permit. Mayor Mark Phillips asked if the ordinance declares what is permissible.

Fire Chief Sam Pascuzzi said, “There (are) minimum requirements under state law that have to be met for us to exhibit (a) fireworks display permit, which is different than setting off fireworks. That (an individual owning and setting off fireworks) is never permitted. State law simply says you have to have a permit issued by the municipality.” The city is then left to determine the criteria.

Food vendor booth fees were also discussed. Nau said that a fee was added if an establishment needs a replacement license and if there is a change in ownership because a separate inspection would be required. Phillips asked if that would address individuals associated with the Warren Farmers Market.

Nau said it would depend “on if they are going to be a home processor. They’re not going to see any fees. If they sell certain products (such as eggs and milk),” there will be an initial fee of $250 with a $200 renewal, unless they provide service for less than 14 days per year.

Tennis court fees were also discussed. Councilman Jim Zavinski asked whether the Warren County School District will be utilizing the courts at Beaty Park when the construction project is completed there next year.

“It is my understanding… they have expressed some interest in using Beaty when it is done for their JV (junior varsity),” Department of Public Works Director Mike Holtz said.

Nau said that the fee schedule is part of the city’s budget package that will be presented for council approval at the Dec. 16 meeting.