Payson may be broke — but it’s not for lack of thinking up things for which to charge people.
The town council recently adopted a whole new set of fees for everything from opening a topless bar to e-mailing town documents.
Those mostly higher fees could offset the town’s budget woes. The town council is continuing to wrestle with a second year of flat or declining revenues due to the recession – compounded by deep but still mysterious future reductions by the state.
The proposed budget maintains most town services – including almost all of the current recreation programs and full summer schedule for the pool in Rumsey Park.
The budget also for the moment sidesteps any fresh layoffs. However, it assumes a second year with only minimal street maintenance and almost no major new projects except those funded by state or federal grants.
Unfortunately, the services that usually bring in the most money connect to new construction – which remains as dead as Tom Dooley, swinging from that wide oak tree.
But fees the town can now impose do provide some interesting possibilities – and a certain amount of head scratching. Here’s a partial list.
Documents: Granted, it’s all public information. But it will cost you to have your own copy. That includes 50 cents to get someone to e-mail you a page, $1 per page for a fax, $1 for a photocopy and $5 for a CD.
Building Permit: Loosen up your wallet if you want to build something. The fee goes by the cost of the structure, ranging from $391 for the first $25,000 and on up to $5,608 if you want to build something worth $1 million (and $3.65 per $1,000 of value above that).
Something simple: Not building a house? Just a porch? A carport? An awning? Don’t put that checkbook away — it’s $12 per square foot for a porch, $8 a square foot for a metal awning and $25 a square foot for a barn or garage.
Getting Sexy: So let’s say you want to open a nice topless bar or adult book store. That’ll be $250 per year, plus $100 annually for each employee for your business license.
That compares to $70 per year for a normal business license, $90 for a peddler license — and $500 to get a suspended business license reinstated.
Zoning: It will cost you if you want to get changes in your zoning, including $250 to add guest quarters, $1,000 for a conditional use permit, $2,000 for a development agreement, $4,000 for a land use amendment, $1,000 to have someone check out your plans for an apartment building, $2,000 for a subdivision plan and $4,000 for a general plan amendment.
False Alarms: Better check out your burglar alarm system. The fourth time it sends out a false alarm, that’ll cost you $50. By the time you get up to six false alarms, it’ll cost you $100 every time the bell rings and the squad cars roll.
Dogs: Get your dog fixed, the license is only $7 annually – but that jumps to $20 if they’re still capable of making puppies. Best to avoid getting the pooch booted into the “vicious” category – then the license costs $50 annually. Need a new dog tag – that’ll be $3 please. If you get your dog impounded for lack of his shots or some waggish behavior, that’ll be $25 the first time, $50 the second time and $100 the third time – plus a $10 daily boarding fee.
Jail: On the other hand, it’s cheaper to bail out Fido than junior.
A night in the town jail will run you $69. No mention on whether that’s cheaper if the prisoner has been neutered. You can also consult with the police chief about various and sundry issues – but that’ll cost you $52 an hour. If that’s too steep, you can consult with a beat cop for $24 an hour.
Inspections: if you need a building inspection, that’s $50 an hour – nearly as much as getting an opinion from the chief.