COOS BAY — Discussion on how to implement a transportation utility fee continues in Coos Bay city government, with councilors drawing out the final decision at least another month in order to make a more informed decision.
“They’re putting off the decision because they’ve asked for some additional information,” Coos Bay City Manager Rodger Craddock said. “They put off the decision because they wanted more information, and should they decide to move forward they wanted to provide additional time for public input.
For a few months now council has been discussing a transportation utility fee that citizens will pay for through a fee added to water bills. Revenue generated by the fee would go directly toward funding road construction.
A $10 fee collected through citizens' water bills has widely been supported by city council in previous talks about the fee. It would generate $750,000 per year in revenue for the city’s roads.
Council is now discussing how it will collect transportation utility fees from businesses in the area. Looking into potentially charging business owners a higher fee rate.
“Basically they’re evaluating whether or not it should be the same rate for residential users as it is for commercial. They did decide that they do not want to make a fee based off trip generation, which some cities have,” Craddock said.
Trip generation is a type of transportation fee that is calculated for commercial spaces based on the amount of visitors that business gets. So large businesses like Walmart are charged more, because more people uses the roads to go to Walmart than other businesses.
Instead of trip generated fees council is looking at charging a flat fee. This commercial rate is being discussed at both $15 a month for commercial spaces, and $20 a month.
“They’ve asked us to look at flat rates of $15 and $20 per month for commercial users. Figuring out how many commercial users that would be, how much revenue that might generate, and then allow for extra time to comment,” Craddock said.
According to Craddock, the city is looking into mailing out information regarding the transportation utility fee as it gets closer to making a decision so that folks in the community with questions and concerns can be heard.