Galesburg – Galesburg has introduced a balanced budget for the year 2010, but it comes with more than 40 fee and fine increases.
The various increases, approved at Monday night's city council meeting, will help the city close an estimated $1.35 million budget shortfall.
Mayor Sal Garza says it's unfortunate the city had to raise so many fees at once, but many had not been reviewed since the early 1980's. He hopes this year's increases won't be permanent, and from now on, the city will review the fee structure every year.
"If we're not going to raise [them], that's fine," said Garza. "If we can get to a point with the economy being much stronger, then we can dial back some of these increases to help our businesses as well as to bring relief overall."
Some notable fee increases that will take effect include rental dwelling licenses, late payments on water bills, and liquor licenses. Garza a Class A liquor license, for example, will increase from $2150 to $2700. Parking tickets will go up from $5 to $10.
To listen to a conversation with Mayor Garza about the fee hikes, click play on the audio bar above. To view a list of what fees and fines will increase, visit http://www.ci.galesburg.il.us/mayorcouncil/2009/110209/Ordinances/1025 CL Fines and Fees.htm