Council raises price for code services

8 years ago

     CARIBOU, Maine — City Council voted to raise the price of Woodland’s code enforcement services from $40 to $45 an hour during their Jan. 25, 2016 City Council meeting.

     “Currently, we charge $40,” said City Manager Austin Bleess. “That covered our costs and allowed for some profit above and beyond costs in 2015. If we leave it at that level for 2016, it will only be about a 5 percent profit margin. We should set a new rate for 2016, as our contract renews with them in March.”

     Bleess explained the results of raising the labor cost at various rates. A $50 rate would result in an 18 percent profit above costs, $55 would yield a 25 percent profit, $60 would result in a 32 percent profit, and doubling the cost to $80 would provide a 49 percent profit.

     Mayor Gary Aiken was in favor of raising the labor rate, but not by a significant margin.

     “We do so many things for surrounding communities,” said AIken, “and yes, we charge them, but the city has been in the habit of charging a rate that ends up staying the same forever. After a while, we end up not getting what we should be getting. At the same time, I don’t think a 25 percent increase is the answer either. I’d say that we ought to be looking at $45.”

     “I’d like to see it as a little more than $45,” said Deputy Mayor David Martin. “It’s still a good deal for Woodland. They don’t have to hire anybody or pay benefits.”

     “Even if we increase it to $50, we’re maybe increasing our net income by $250 or $300,” said Councilor Shane McDougall. “I’m on the same page as Mayor Aiken on this one.”

     The city manager also agreed that $45 was a reasonable number, and the motion to increase the rate by $5 was passed by council.