Aspen hiking fees across the board |

Aspen hiking fees across the board

ASPEN ” Aspen residents will pay more next year in nearly every segment of city-run operations ” from car towing to passes at the Aspen Recreation Center and the municipal golf course.

The increases, which vary from 4 percent to 90 percent, are slated to be approved by the City Council on Monday. Fee increases typically happen every year, said City Finance Director Paul Menter. The increases are designed to reflect inflation and keep each city department self-sustaining.

At the Aspen Golf Course, fee increases will result in nearly $70,000 in additional revenue. Season pass holders will pay 10 percent more ” from $900 to $1,000 for early purchases. After April 1, that price will jump to $1,200.

The 20-punch pass will go up 5 percent ” from $450 to $475 for early purchases. After April 1, it will spike to $525.

Junior golf and senior passes at the golf course will go up 30 percent and 16 percent, respectively. Guest green fees will increase from $95 for 18 holes to $105.

Historically, the golf course gets about 60 percent of its play from pass holders, garnering 40 percent of the revenue. Visitor play accounts for the remaining 60 percent of revenue, according to city staff.

Steve Aitken, director of golf, said the season golf pass is used an average of 37 times during the season, equating to less than $30 per round. The punch pass increase meets the golf course’s minimum requirement for a round of golf of $50.

At the recreation center, fee increases will happen across the board. Daily admission rates and monthly passes will go up for every age group. Most increases are about 4 percent. Rentals, programs and lessons at the center are all slated to be more expensive for users as well.

Parking rate increases throughout downtown went into effect Dec. 1. In addition, towing fees for outstanding tickets, snow tows and farmers market violations will go from $120 to $135, a 12.5 percent increase. Towing fees from the city impound lot at the landfill for 72-hour violations and abandoned vehicles will go from $150 to $165, a 10 percent increase.

Tim Ware, director of parking, said current towing fees do not include administrative fees associated with the towing process. The last fee increase for towing happened in 2005.

Other departments within City Hall also propose increases. The police department wants to charge an average of 4 percent more for false alarm fees; engineering proposes a 700 percent increase in printing maps and plans ” from 50 cents to $4.

Fees borne out of the environmental health department will go up across the board, particularly on inspections and permits.

The price for bear-proof trash containers will increase 9 percent ” from $55 to $60.

For a complete list of fee increases, log on to the Web at uploads/dec10.htm and click on “Ordinance 52” on the Dec. 10 City Council agenda.

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