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City might end fees for park reservations and certain business licensing

Mar 14, 2014 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

The City of Riverton is considering loosening regulations pertaining to city park reservations and business service licenses.

City council member voiced no opposition to the idea during a work session Tuesday.

Park fees

Currently, the city collects a $30 fee for reserving a park facility. An additional $100 refundable deposit is taken and not returned in full if the reserving party fails to clean following the activity, or repair the area if necessary

Customer service supervisor Mia Harris proposed the city eliminate the $100 deposit fee.

An average of 113 requests are received each year by the city, Harris said. Since the regulation was passed in 2008, Harris said no deposit has been kept by the city. Parks are checked and cleaned every day, but Harris said no park staff returns after an activity to check if the area was cleaned up.

"Therefore, in the event that a shelter is unclean, it is difficult to determine with whom the responsibility should be placed," she said.

Fees taken in by the city are processed by two employees who enter the data into a spreadsheet. The city has responsibility for the money until it is returned.

Director of administrative services Courtney Bohlender said city staff didn't see the process as an "efficient use" of time for the city or residents. Harris said it would be in the best interest of the city to eliminate the deposit fee because park patrons have complied with regulations and cooperated with the city.

She reported that as of March 11, the city already has received 47 requests for park reservations.

Business services

Bohlender told the council that a dated protocol of requiring licenses for some services but not others should be amended in order to be fair and consistent. She said the Riverton Municipal Code requires licenses for special investigators, private detectives and security agents, taxicabs and limousine services, and tree pruning, trimming and removal businesses.

She stated in her report to the council that majority of businesses are not required to apply or submit an application for a license. She provided the council with a thee-year history of the fees received. Taxicab licenses are the most used. They cost $25. Private investigator licenses cost $50.

The dates of implementation also vary, Bohlender said, and only a few hundred dollars is collected by the city each year in the revenue from these licenses.

"As you can tell they're very, very minimal when you're talking about a $28 million budget versus a $1,000 we collect on licenses," she said.

She proposed the council repeal the licensing regulation or remove requirement of licensing to some businesses, or start requiring licensing for others not on the list. Staff didn't believe repealing the regulation would have a big impact on the city budget.

"It's an opportunity to get some laws off the books," Bohlender said. "It's just little items like that that we are not able to enforce from a human resource standpoint."

Council member Martin Cannan asked how removing a taxicab license would affect the police department's ability to apply the law. Riverton police chief Mike Broadhead said the state sets regulations for taxicab businesses to follow and that law enforcement would still help enforce those rules.

The council agreed to discuss the presented items again and possibly take action in the future.

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