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City of Eau Claire looking at fee increases

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 6:07 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Some Eau Claire city services may cost a little more in 2022.

That’s because Eau Claire City Council members will look at fee increases at their Nov. 22 meeting.

Council President Terry Weld said fee increases are nothing new, referring to the proposed rate hikes as “average.”

“Each year we are going to make an adjustment based on cost of living in order to, I guess, meet the needs in regards to the fees and services that come along with those,” he said.

Weld added the city’s goal isn’t to make money, however it legally cannot run a deficit.

“We just want to be able to cover the costs that the city incurs to fulfill, you know, the requests and the licenses and the inspections and the facilities, everything that comes with it,” he said. “Our goal, again, is just to break even.”

The city’s Finance Director, Jay Winzenz, said even with increases for certain services, including plumbing, the cemetery, ambulance fees and more, they alone don’t cover the cost. This means the city still has to use some tax dollars to subsidize these services.

“That’s one of the reasons that government is providing the service is a private business can’t make a profit doing it,” he said. “If a private business could make a profit doing it, they would be providing that service.”

Winzenz added the city does have assistance programs for those who can’t afford certain fees.

He also said while fees go up every year, the city rotates which ones go up so the same ones don’t increase annually.

Click here to see a full list of fees city leaders are proposing raising.

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