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New fees mean less money for city operations
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Manteca would have $49,321 less today to run the development and construction related municipal services had the recently adopted fee schedule that reflects actual costs been in place.

The city collected $990,622.94 from 1,398 permits that were issued in a nine-month period ending on April 1 on everything from new spas to development plans for subdivisions. In most cases fees for the development community either stayed the same or went up slightly while charges for a healthy number of home improvement projects requiring city permits for inspection went down.

The City Council directed staff to provide an analysis of what the new fees would have generated had they been in place. That amount came to $941,301.94 or $49,321 less.

The city is in the process of having the community development department become self-sustaining from fees charged for work they provide. They are currently funded with a redevelopment agency loan while the city was working to make sure anything they could charge fees for wok done was put in place.

This way the city will be able to monitor on a yearly basis the actual cost of providing services and adjust fees accordingly. The goal is to end the community development department’s dependence on the general fund for services such as building inspection and planning.

The general fund is what covers the cost of day-to-day municipal operations such as police, fire, parks, general government, and streets. Not only is the new fee schedule and restructuring expected to help make sure charges reflect the actual costs incurred by the city but it also will also help ease pressure on the general fund.

Some of the fees adopted were put in place below the actual cost so that the city would remain competitive with fees charged by surrounding jurisdictions when competing for employers and retailers.

The move to put the community development department to stand on its own reduced the size of the potential deficit for the upcoming fiscal year starting on July 1. City leaders are bracing for a shortfall as much as $4 million. As a result, they are working to trim expenses to match available funds.