City Seeks Legal Opinion on Moorage Fees
Wednesday, December 12 2012
A clerical error could result in the city having to issue refunds to dock users. In June, city council may have unintentionally lowered moorage rates when it approved the 2012 schedule of fees and charges for city services. The ordinance was only supposed to raise PCR fees, but the packet that council received -- and which has been published online since then -- may have changed the ports fees too.
Ports director Peggy McLaughlin explained at Tuesday's city council meeting that since the department didn’t know about the changes, it continued billing dock users at the old rates, which in some cases are about 15 percent higher than the rates in the published document. The biggest discrepancy is at the Carl E. Moses small boat harbor, but in total McLaughlin estimates the difference amounts to less $10,000.
Councilors Tom Enlow and Zac Schasteen asked the city to consider refunding users for the difference between the published rates and the bills they’ve gotten since June, but since there is confusion as to whether Council actually voted on the ports fees in June, the city is seeking a legal opinion from its attorney.