Monday, December 19, 2011

Land of the Fees....

A dollar here, a dollar there, pretty soon you're talking about real money.

Hands down, it's taxes that get the headlines. But there are other ways that Borough Hall gets you to pay.

They are the fees and fines you pay for everything from an inspection to a violation.

Each year, as the tax millage gets set in December, borough council also sets the fee schedule for the coming year and this month was no different.

When I asked Borough Manager Jason Bobst for a copy of the fee schedule, I didn't quite realize what I was getting myself into.

He sent it to me promptly enough, but when I opened the file I saw it was 28 pages. Not quite the little document I thought I would use to dash off a quickie blog post.

But I must admit, it did make for some interesting reading.

For example, did you know if you want to open an "adult" business in Pottstown, it will cost you $2,250 just to apply for a license and get one?

By contrast, a general business license only costs $25 per year.

Apartment inspections only cost $25 and you only need $132 for a permit to store explosive and blasting caps.

Obviously, I am not going to go through all 28 pages here. You can pick up a copy of the fee schedule at borough hall, or shoot me an e-mail at, and I'll e-mail you a copy of mine.

But I can tell you what's changed as a result of the resolution council adopted Dec. 12.

  • Monthly rental fees for the original hangars at Pottstown Municipal Airport will increase to $231 per month;
  • Monthly rental fees for the "new" T-hangars at the airport will increase to $307 per month;
  • Monthly fees for "tie-downs" at the airport will be $78 per month come 2012.
The good news on the other changes is -- they're going down.

You may already know about the annual cost for trash collection, which will decrease from $314 per unit to $304 per unit. This decrease comes hand in hand with the arrival of the infamous "red bins" and a 50 percent decrease in the frequency of collections. (Down to once per week).

The other fee isn't just going down, it's disappearing.

All fees associated with the use of the "Bark Park," the fenced in area of Memorial Park where dog owners can let their dogs frolic freely, are eliminated, with the exception of a $10 key deposit, which requires proof of license and shots.

They all become effective Jan. 1.

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