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Fri, Dec. 06

Jerome Council combining fee ordinances
Proposed fee schedules will return to council in May

To simplify matters and save money on advertising, the Jerome Town Council decided Tuesday night to combine two proposed fee schedules into one ordinance. The council will take up that combined ordinance in May.

The council is currently considering two proposed fee schedules. The first is for standard fees, such as the cost of business licenses and charges for faxes and photocopies. The second schedule is for fees through the Planning and Zoning department.

During its regular meeting March 28, the council voted to include the standard fee schedule with the P&Z schedule to save costs on publishing the dates and times of public hearings.

Mayor Jane Moore told The Verde Independent the council thought it was best to put all of the fees into one ordinance. Otherwise, the council would have to hold hearings on two or three separate ordinances and pay to advertise all of those hearings.

"I think I'm going to have an extra meeting just so everybody has an opportunity to be heard," Moore said.

Before passing any ordinance into law, the council is required to hold two public hearings. Public hearings have also been held by P&Z when they discussed the fee schedule and after making revisions.

The standard fee schedule has been worked on primarily between the council and Planning Director Renee Tavares. That proposed schedule will also return to the council in May.

Planning and Zoning has reviewed the fees on its schedule, and the proposed schedule will go before the Design Review Board April 10.

Changes have been made to some of the proposed fee increases since the first schedule was presented to the council. One example, that drew some attention, is the cost to residents for filing an appeal over a P&Z decision to the Board of Adjustment. Currently $100, that fee appeared on the first version of the proposed schedule at $600. The recommendation now on the schedule is to keep the appeal fee at $100 but to add the cost of publishing legal advertisements for the appeal hearing.

Hearings for the proposed fee ordinance likely will take place during the council's scheduled May meetings.

Moore said the hearings, just as council meetings are, will be posted along with the proposed fee schedules.

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