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Tuolumne County Supervisors Give Direction On Fee Study

Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors will learn whether local fees are similar to neighboring counties, and if some services provided are already covered by the private sector.

Over the coming weeks, department heads will be asked to detail the costs of providing various county services, and also how the fees collected for them compare to neighboring counties. Different departments will report at different times at upcoming board meetings, and then in March, or a later time to be determined, the supervisors will decide whether any adjustments need to be made.

Speaking about the benefits of such a study, District Five Supervisor Karl Rodefer noted specifically some community concerns about development and building fees, and his hope to bring more transparency. “We hear all the time, ‘hey, it costs more to do business in Tuolumne County than any of our neighboring counties.’ I’m tired of hearing that. I don’t think it’s necessarily true, but if it is, I think we need to be honest about why it is.”

Asked for clarification by a member of the public about looking into eliminating some services that can be handled by the private sector, CAO Craig Pedro responded, “We know from other experiences that we are prohibited from contracting out (services), but if there is already that service available in the private sector, that may be something you may want to consider discontinuing if it is already available via other means.”

All departments will be subject to the review, whether it be law enforcement, recreation, building, library, etc. Tuolumne County anticipates collecting around $12.8-million in user fees during the current fiscal year.