County hikes fees for some basic services

Campers will no longer stay at Kingsley Reservoir for free. A new $200 fee for some driveways is also on the books, and the charge for a hepatitis shot has doubled from $10 to $20.

Those are three examples of increased fees to bring Hood River County charges in line with state averages.

The price adjustments were effective on Sept. 15 and apply to a limited number of health care costs, sewer inspections, law enforcement services — and camping at Kingsley. The $8 nightly fee is the first such charge at the popular fishing spot and was levied to pay for site improvements, including picnic tables, potable water and an additional restroom.

The Health Department is reflecting the largest number of increases to offset higher lab costs and changes in Medicaid reimbursement rates. The fee to be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea has risen from $57 to $83 and hemoglobin checks will now be $9 instead of $5.85. To have a liver analysis performed has gone up from $18.25 to $22 and two screenings for tuberculosis have increased by about $2 each, up from $9 to $11.50 and $15 to $17. Flu shots will now be $15 instead of $10. The charges for several birth control methods have been hiked, bringing the cost of an IUD from $135.59 to $164.63, a diaphragm from $10.95 to $16.78, oral contraceptives from $3.50 to $5, and condoms from $1.25 to $1.50.

Homeowners and developers will now pay $325 instead of $300 for an on-site sewage treatment and disposal inspection on a first lot. The fee for additional valuations has risen from $185 to $225. Construction and installation permits for sewage systems rose from $285 to $350.

The one-time cost for the Community Corrections Department to supervise a work crew member has gone up from $5 to $25. In addition, DNA testing of clients has risen from $10 to $15. The Sheriff’s Office will now provide video tapes of traffic incidents for $20-25 instead of $15-$20. In addition, the $5 fee for a certified copy of a background check for employment has doubled to $10.

The County Planning Department has created a new $200 fee for developers wanting to build a roadway for use by future residents of the property other than themselves. The charge pays for staff time to ensure that access meets design standards and accommodates emergency vehicles.

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