Posted: Mar 19, 2013 9:58 PM by Melissa Schroeder - firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Mar 19, 2013 11:07 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI -- While most residents agreed a street fee was needed, during a city council meeting today,
they didn't agree on the proposed fee structure.
Emily Olivarez said, "I am for streets beings fixed but I don't think the burden should be on those who have less."
A fee to maintain city streets would cost homeowners $7 a month.
A couple of residents said that's not fair because some people may only use one car, where larger families use four or five.
Jack Gordy said, "How can anybody with a little bit of grain of common sense say that's fair?"
Business owners would pay quite a bit more than the $7 flat fee.
They pay based on the size and type of business.
A man who owns the 12 Peerless Cleaners in the city says this would do him in.
He said, "That means $86,000 a year I would be paying. That means five locations closed because of this fee. That means considering putting port-a-potties outside some of them because I can't afford your meter."
A Father who runs a local church said the street user fee would cause problems for him as well.
He says the church would need to charge boy scouts and youth groups to use their building, instead of letting them use it free of charge.
After hours of debating the issue every council member, except Priscilla Leal, passed the first reading.
She wanted truck drivers -- using city streets -- to pay for the fee.
She said, "Why should we pay for what they damaged? The damage that they do to our streets."
Council members did ask city staff to make sure there's a fair appeals process.
They also want staff to take a closer look at the fee structures for non-profit organizations.
The city council will hold a workshop sometime over the next couple of weeks.
That's when they have discussion with city staff members about the changes they would like to see in the final draft of the ordinance.
And, that final draft will be presented to the council in about six weeks.
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