Newport to discuss dock fees

In addition to votes likely solidifying an employee pension deal and extending the city's pledge to match Bike Safety Improvement Fund donations, the Newport Beach City Council will consider the following issues at its meeting Tuesday evening:


Implementation of harbor rent changes

The council is slated to vote on ordinances necessary to implement the hotly debated residential dock fee increases approved last year.

The council in December voted to increase rents for harborside homeowners whose piers occupy public tidelands. Before the increase, those pier owners paid a $100 flat annual fee. Tuesday's vote would officially nix that fee to make way for the new rent calculation, which is based on a dock's square footage.

The vote will also change city code to allow residential pier owners to rent out their docks to others, though they will have to pay the city more rent to do so. Right now, renting out the piers isn't allowed.

Finally, the vote would establish an appeals process for pier owners who want to contest the city's assessment of their piers' size.


A voluntary buyout program for some employees

As part of an effort to further downsize city staff, the council will look at a Voluntary Separation Incentive Program, which would offer eligible employees the chance to take a one-time lump sum payment to retire before the new fiscal year.

In order to participate, employees must be at least 50 (the minimum retirement age under the public employee pension system) and must have at least three years of full-time work at the city under their belts, among other requirements.

A staff report said the program is similar to one implemented in 2009, which saved the city about $3 million.


Exemption of city contracts from prevailing wage requirements

The council will consider a resolution exempting the city from having to pay prevailing wages on locally funded public works projects.

In other words, because Newport Beach is a charter city, it can opt to forego state-mandated requirements that workers be paid a certain wage on public works projects. This would only apply to projects totally funded by the city, and the council would still be able to choose to pay (typically higher) prevailing wages for certain projects.

According to a staff report, the move would save the city money, though it's difficult to estimate how much.


Balboa Village parking

Following a recommendation from the Balboa Village Advisory Committee, the council may give staff the go-ahead to develop residential and commercial parking plans for that area.

This may include an overnight residential parking permit program.


A 3% raise for City Attorney Aaron Harp

The raise will be his first since taking on the role in September 2011, a staff report said. If approved, he will also receive a merit-based bonus.

The raise comes after City Clerk Leilani Brown and City Manager Dave Kiff saw similar salary increases in November.


The city council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the new chambers at 100 Civic Center Drive, next to the main library.

A study session is also scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, before the meeting. There, the council will hear presentations on dredging permits and eelgrass in the harbor, and 55 Freeway corridor improvement ideas from the Orange County Transportation Authority.

Twitter: @jillcowan

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