Cleveland Council looking at user fee increases

FILE PHOTO - Cleveland, GA, City Administrator Kevin Harris (WRWH.com)

CLEVELAND—The cost of services provided by the City of Cleveland could soon be going up. The city council held a public hearing Monday night to discuss the need for increased fees in areas such as water, sewer, garbage pickup, building permits, and a host of other administrative fees.

During the first public hearing on the issue, City Administrator Kevin Harris told the council they are looking at a three-step increase over the next three years. Harris said they want to keep the increases low so it doesn’t impact the citizens all at once.

City Finance Director John Solmon detailed to the council each of the areas that will be affected. Solmon said in some areas, the fees that the City of Cleveland is charging are the lowest of most north Georgia municipalities.

An example of the increases is homeowner garbage fees, which are proposed to increase by about two dollars annually for the next three years.

Cleveland Mayor Josh Turner said the fee increases will only impact those who use the services.

“With inflation rising and the cost of doing business going up, it’s important that the people who utilize these services are paying the user fees that cover the cost of doing business, so we felt like it’s not right for the taxpayers to make up that gap,” said Cleveland Mayor Josh Turner.

Administrator Harris said they will address this issue again at the August 5 council meeting, with possible adoption expected during the August 15 meeting.

A list of the proposed increases will be available at Cleveland City Hall or on the city’s website www.cityofcleveland.org.

Other public hearings

The fee increases were among several public hearings held by the Cleveland City Council Monday night.

The council also held a public hearing on placing a six-month moratorium on approving CBD stores and Vape shops. Harris said the current city code doesn’t address these businesses, and they want to” take a time out” and look at what needs to be included in any city regulations for them.

The council also held a public hearing on establishing a $10 technology fee to be administered by the Cleveland Municipal Court. The added court fee must be approved by the General Assembly before it can be implemented.

A second public hearing on these matters is set for August 5 during the Cleveland City Council meeting.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email