Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Health Officer Proposes Fee Changes

Self-service laundry owners may face new $20 fees for each washer and dryer.

Health Officer Mark Colicchio presented a slew of fee increases and new charges Monday to the City Council, saying the hikes were the first in 15 years.

Colicchio said he followed up on city studies on fees with one of his own, comparing current charges to those in other municipalities.

"I was able to come up with these fees that I feel are more than fair," he said.

Birth, death and marriage certificates would rise from $5 to $25, among other increases. Dog and cat licenses, now $8.20 to $11.20, would be $20.

Food establishment without seating would see fees based on square footage increase by around 60 percent, while some of those with seats would face double or triple the current fee.

On Tuesday, the sunny yellow bench seats at Chicken Holiday were nearly empty. Business is down, owner Luis Chacon said, and the people who do come in tend to take out their food. Looking at figures that would translate the $150 fee for his 68 seats to $450, he said, "How can they increase all those fees?"

With people cutting back on take-out meals and the price of supplies going up - a case of wings that was $42 is now $78, he said - the squeeze is on and a fee increase would hurt.

At a popular longtime downtown luncheonette, an owner viewed fee increases as maybe the last straw for doing business here, when coupled with rent increases and utility rate hikes.

Among other proposed additions to the present fee schedule, self-service laundries would be charged $20 for each washer and dryer. The owner of a laundry at Park & Seventh was not present Tuesday, but the possible new tab for 44 washers and 43 dryers was enough to raise an employee's eyebrows.

Another change would increase the charge for a Health Division reinspection for "conditionally satisfactory or unsatisfactory" establishments from $40 to $100 for the first reinspection, escalating to $200 for a second and $500 for a third.

The proposed ordinance will be on the agenda next week. The council will meet at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19 in Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave. The public may speak at the beginning of the meeting on resolutions and ordinances before the council votes on them.

Click here to see the full ordinance.

If the fee changes pass on first reading, the ordinance could be up for second reading and final passage at the regular City Council meeting on Feb. 8.

--Bernice Paglia


Blogger olddoc said...

There should be reconsideration of some of the changes. There is no problem with an increase in Birth or Death Certificate to $25.00. However only one Birth Certificate is needed whereas in settlement of an estate multiple Death Certificates may be needed for release of assets, This could become a burden. I would suggest one fee forf the original and a small service charge for subsequent certificates. I am sure that other fees may need adjustment.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remind my family to just let me be dead, no certificate needed, in fact bury me in the back, take what little money the gobermint has not already wrangled from me and get that full case of wings done up right. Now that is Traditional Values and real Historic Preservation.


7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like there will be room for a few more Dollar Stores after these little food establishments close down due to the increase in permit fees.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Native Plainfielder, (born, raised) it seems that this City is on a path of no return. Raising fees at this time will drive the limited services available in this city across the border into our neighboring towns who, right now understand the economic situation confronting all small business owners.

The taxi companies will love these new ordinaces, since, for a couple of miles more, their coustomers can go to a town that wants their business.

Plainfield, you can't make up the missing funding by punishing the few small businesses left in this town.

Outragous fees and ordinaces have put up financially where we are right now.

Add these few more, and, those stuggling businesses will be forced to move elsewhere.

So, Plainfield wants more money., where is it coming from?

We are following the same principal as has been practiced by state and feds. Raise taxes and rates to make more money, not thinking that such action closes businesses that they had planned to make their monies off of.

Which leaves the town with LESS Monies, as they have less businesses to collect from.

Nothing else needs to be said.

11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This city is in the current state exactly because of the attitude in the comments above.

Do the writers understand that Plainfield is WAY BELOW the fees charged by other citites - including Elizabeth, Rahway and other urban areas. The reason for the high increase is because no one is paying attention to these issues. These fees have not been raised for 15 years!!!!

So let's not raise the rates to be in line with what is fair and reasonable and instead raise our taxes 13%.

Much better!

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No reason some of the increases couldn't be modified or phased in--it's up to the Council now.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next thing you know, the city will be charging for rental inspections, fire inspections and health inspections for restaurants. Oh wait, this is Plainfield, they dont do them!! Just screw everyone for the umpteenth time! Just chase more business out of town instead of trying to keep them here. Paramount is raising rents. PSEG is raising bills. Just more status quo for Plainfield!

5:29 PM  

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