Police propose fee increases

Mark R. Madler

Higher fees for towed vehicles and medical care at the animal shelter

were among the proposals made by the Burbank Police Department for

the new city budget.

While the Police Department's total budget has gone up $2 million

from last year, the increased towing fees are expected to bring in

about $10,000 more per year, and the vaccinations for dog and cats

will bring in $32,000 more per year, Police Chief Thomas Hoefel said.

The department's current budget is $32.9 million. The proposed

2005-06 fiscal year budget is $34.9 million, with a bulk of the

increase going to salaries and benefits, he said.

The department is recommending raising the vehicle impound release

fee from $40 to $60 for cars and from $50 to $60 for commercial

vehicles.

There is also a proposal for a new $25 administrative fee for

handicap parking citations. That fee would be collected regardless of

whether the $335 fine is imposed, Hoefel said.

That new fee seemed reasonable to Councilman Todd Campbell.

"It serves as a reminder that it's important to put your placard

up," Campbell said.

The other proposed fee increases are for operations at the Burbank

Animal Shelter.

Boarding a runaway animal until picked up by its owner will

increase from $7 to $10. New vaccination fees for dogs and cats will

range from $6 to $10, a cost that will be partially repaid through

adoption costs of the animals.

"The cost we are charging is still significantly less that what

you get at the vet," Hoefel said.

Mayor Jef Vander Borght raised the issue of whether the animal

shelter should remain under the Police Department, given staffing

issues the department has been facing.

The department has 18 unfilled and frozen police officer positions

and expects at least two more by the end of the year.

He and city staff members have recently met with representatives

of the animal shelters in Glendale and Pasadena to brainstorm about

better ways to streamline their operations.

Presentations by Burbank Water & Power and the Burbank Fire

Department were put off until May 24.

Other departments giving presentations Tuesday were the city

manager's office, the City Council office, Management Services and

Financial Services.

The city manager's office's proposed budget includes $40,000 for

the Charter review committee, a group made up of residents to review

city functions and organization.

The council is expected to approve the budget by the end of June.

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