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Roseburg introduces new, higher fees, citing software issues, increasing costs

The city of Roseburg has increased several fees next month - saying those services cost more to provide than current fees bring in.
Courtesy of the city of Roseburg
The city of Roseburg has increased several fees next month - saying those services cost more to provide than current fees bring in.

The city of Roseburg has approved several new fees for city services and an increase to many of the fees it already charges.

City staff say the fees customers currently pay for permitting, inspections and park facility rentals don’t cover the cost of offering those services. They pointed to other local governments like Douglas County, which charges about twice as much for similar services.

Roseburg Community Development Department Director Stuart Cowie recently told the city council that the city also needs technology upgrades - like online permitting - but can’t afford it with what it currently charges.

"We are fortunate in that the permit software that we have now is very inexpensive,” he said. “But, there's the old adage you get what you pay for and we certainly have that occurring with our software.”

In an email to KLCC Thursday, Cowie said he hoped the city would be able to roll out new permitting software early next year which will include an online portal for permits.

Some fees - like annexations, conditional use permits and zone changes will double. Many others, such as water, will increase by around 3.6 percent.

New fees include a charge for “good conduct” letters - a document sometimes required when US citizens apply for visas in other countries – and a charge for using city-owned video conferencing rooms.

City staff said they make small adjustments annually, but this is the first major increase in recent memory.

The full list of fee changes will soon be available on the city of Roseburg’s website. The new fees will go into effect July 1.

Rebecca Hansen-White joined the KLCC News Department in November, 2023. Her journalism career has included stops at Spokane Public Radio, The Spokesman-Review, and The Columbia Basin Herald.