POINT PLEASANT —A third and final reading to raise municipal fees unanimously passed this week during a special meeting of Point Pleasant City Council.
Prior to the special meeting, a public hearing was held for public comment about a proposed ordinance amendment which raised the police fee, which is contained within the municipal fees, from $3.18 per month, to $10.18 per month. This increase of $7 in the police fee means the total charge residents pay for all municipal fees goes from $15 to $22 per month. These fees appear on monthly water bills.
In addition to the police fee, the city currently charges the following monthly municipal fees: Flood wall fee, $1.91; street maintenance, $5.72; street lighting, $1.91; fire protection fee, $1; parks, 64 cents; cemeteries, 64 cents.
The police fee provides funding for the continued operation of the department, which is a full-time police department and like many full-time departments, is dealing with rising costs and issues with retention. The fees will continue to fund items like equipment, salaries, pension payments, academy training expenses (to pay for one new officer to attend training is $1,500, whether the officer stays with the department or not), uniforms and more.
According to city officials, the last time total municipal fees were raised was eight years ago in 2008, when they went from $12 total per month (a rate set in 2005) to $15 total per month, where they had rested until this week’s vote.
Point Pleasant Police Chief Joe Veith was at the hearing to answer any questions but no public comments were made. Council then held its special meeting where the vote was unanimous with Veith thanking council for its support. City Clerk Amber Tatterson said residents may see the fee increase first appear either on their December or January bill, depending on how quickly it gets into the city’s accounting system.
(Editor’s Note: In Saturday’s article about this month’s regular, monthly council meeting, it was incorrectly reported the public hearing regarding police fees would be held prior to December’s regular meeting. The Point Pleasant Register apologizes for this error and misunderstanding. City officials ran legal advertisements for this week’s meeting and public hearing, to comply with the law in terms of notifying the public.)
Reach Beth Sergent at email@example.com