Norwalk raises fees on most city services

NORWALK - Things just got more expensive in Norwalk.The City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to raise the prices on a bevy of city services - from permit fees to picnic area rentals - as it prepares to approve a balanced budget before the next fiscal year begins July 1. The vote was 4-0 with Councilman Marcel Rodarte absent. Most of the price hikes are nominal and city officials pointed out that service fees had not been raised since 2008. The higher rates also help the city recover their actual costs. State law prohibits cities from charging more than the actual cost of service. Norwalk anticipates an additional $100,000 to its General Fund next year as a result of the fee adjustments. Most price increases go into effect July 2. Council members, however, declined to raise the price on business license applications and will reconsider special event permit fees at a future meeting. Some of the price increases include a $26.10 jump for a bingo permit, a $130 increase for an adult recreational softball team, and $11-$19 increases for youth sports such as basketball, football and soccer. Drivers arrested for DUI will be hit with a new $293 penalty for vehicle storage and impound. Curfew violation fines doubled from $50 for a first offense to $100, and $100 to $200 for second offenses. City facilities such as the Norwalk Arts & Sports Complex and Aquatic Pavilion also raised its rates, most notably for non-residents. The cost for alcohol-related permits jumped $155 but the city dropped the price of environmental evaluations by nearly $350. It will also cost residents an additional $29.60 to have their water turned on after-hours. The City Council is expected to approve a balanced budget at its next meeting on June 19.

********** Published: June 07, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 08