The cost of living in the Northern San Joaquin Valley is going up.
But when it comes to inflation, those who do business with the City of Lathrop can expect to pay what they always have.
The Lathrop City Council last week voted 3-1 with Steve Dresser dissenting and Sonny Dhaliwal absent not to implement a three percent across-the-board inflation increase for all services that are provided over the counter at City Hall.
Mainly affecting things like copies and notary services, the proposal that was requested by staff would also have affected the price of permits and the services that the City of Lathrop provides for a fee to developers in order to advance projects within the community.
The items had gained some traction as a way to ensure that development – which is driving the cost of inflation – pay its own way as described by Councilman Paul Akinjo, but in the eyes of outgoing councilman Mark Elliott, the city is in a position to where they don’t necessarily have to adjust the prices and are therefore able to save the average resident who utilize city hall services money in the long run.
The last time that the City of Lathrop updated its master fee schedule in order to comply with inflation and cost-of-living indexes as 2008.
While nobody voiced any opposition during the public hearing, Elliott’s motion to not go ahead with staff’s recommendation – but still keep some of the proposals that were part of the staff report like more accurate cost recuperation for printing, a fixed price for information that is distributed on CDs, and some housekeeping measures that will remove certain things from the fee schedule – got a second from Martha Salcedo and ultimately got the support of Akinjo to prevent a 2-2 tie.
But that doesn’t mean that more fee increases for services rendered won’t be before the council again soon.
Earlier this year the council approved a series of cost increases for water and sewer that will be in place for the next five years, and according to the staff report the Parks and Recreation Department is currently reviewing its fee schedule to ultimately bring back a recommendation to the council for review in February of 2017.
The three percent increase that was proposed was in conjunction with the three percent cost of living increase that was given to employees this fiscal year. The proposal would have affected “user” fees that weren’t previously addressed by the council – like water and sewer rates – and focused instead on services that are paid for by the user like building inspection fees and plan check fees.
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