Ordinances Propose New Fees, Change in Police Fee Calculation

by SC Publisher Shannen Hayes

Three proposed ordinances made their way through a first reading last week by Sanibel City Council. If passed, there will be a change in how fees are calculated for police personnel on special detail and establish fees for credit card transactions and retroactive vegetation permits.

The fee rates for police personnel working special detail have not been amended in nearly 14 years. Ordinance 21-008 will change the calculation of those fees from actual cost to “reasonable” cost. “The precise calculation of actual cost is difficult to ascertain and regularly changes based upon rates of pay and the particular personnel working the detail,” the ordinance states.

The Natural Resources Department has recommended a new fee of $125 for “after-the-fact” vegetation permit applications or reinspections (Ordinance 21-009). City staff says it is to improve efficiency within the department and deter vegetation work without first obtaining the required permit, as well as failures to comply with prerequisites resulting in repeated reinspections.

There could be a 1 percent convenience fee for credit card transactions (Ordinance 21-010). City staff analyzed the city’s overall cost of processing credit card payments between the building, recreation and sewer funds and found it has increased 34.7 percent from 2016 to July 2021.

The report shows the city paid a total of $33,118 in 2016 and $53,787 last year in fees. It also shows a 53.4 percent increase in credit card fees in the beach parking fund – from $71,060 in 2016 to $108,997 this year through July. The 1 percent convenience fee will cover the city’s cost for processing credit card payments.

A second reading and public hearing for these proposed ordinances will be Nov. 2.

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