The Riverside Village Board voted unanimously earlier this month to increase and create about a dozen fees mainly for services related to its Community Development Department, which handles things like safety and compliance inspections.

The fee increases and new fees were passed by the board as part of a consent agenda at the village board’s Dec. 6 meeting that also included passage of the village’s 2019 operating budget. 

In response to an email from the Landmark, Riverside Finance Director Karin Johns said the fee increases and a handful of new fees should bring in $49,000 in additional revenue to fund general operations.

The operating budget passed by the village board on Dec. 6 was identical to the one presented to village trustees back in October and did not reflect the new revenue the fee increases and new fees represent.

At the time, the budget indicated that officials expected the general operating fund, which pays for day-to-day expenses like staff salaries and benefits would end the year with a minuscule surplus of about $3,700.

Village Manager Jessica Frances last week confirmed that the budget passed by the village board on Dec. 6 was the one presented in October and that the impact of the new and increased fees had not been factored in.

“We’d rather be more conservative to make sure we’re providing enough of a cushion,” Frances said in a phone interview. “2019 will be our baseline to help with future projections.”

Among the fees that are expected to have the greatest impact on revenues are a new fee for annual fire inspections the village does for multifamily residential buildings and at businesses.

While the village in the past has charged for fire inspections as part of the building permit process, it has not charged for doing annual fire inspections at apartment and condo buildings or at businesses.

There will now be a new $100 fee for such inspections, which should generate some $13,000 per year in added revenue. The village also expects to generate nearly $18,000 by raising the fee it charges for real estate resale compliance inspections from $200 to $325 per year and raising the compliance re-inspection fee from $75 to $100.

The village also expects another $11,000-plus in revenue by raising inspection fees for plumbing and electrical work from $75 to $100.

Another new fee the village is instituting is a $75 parkway inspection fee for projects that involve the use of heavy equipment to make repairs in the public right of way. The village requires a deposit prior to work in the public parkway, and will draw down on that deposit if the work results in damage that’s not repaired.

However, because village public works employees must do inspections of the sites as a routine matter, the village has decided to institute the fee for that service. The new fee is expected to bring in about $5,600.

The village also has created a new fee to cover the administrative costs for processing real estate transfers that don’t require compliance inspections. The village processes dozens of property transfers for reasons ranging from transfers to a trust, transfers related to divorces or transfers to a family member after the death of an owner, among others.

Finally, the village is raising its pet license fee from $7.50 to $10 per cat or dog. That fee increase is expected to bring in roughly $1,250 annually.