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Business license fees on the rise in Sunnyside

It was 1985 the last time the Sunnyside City Council raised business license fees in the city. Twenty-two years later and the council is looking into whether fees should be raised again.

The city of Sunnyside issued 1,056 licenses so far this year. This income brought $35,000 to city coffers.

A proposed 50 percent increase would raise that income to a projected $70,000 in 2008.

The city charges $25 for each license now and those fees can raise to as much as $125, depending on how many employees the business has. The council was presented with numbers of other cities comparable to Sunnyside in Washington and saw that Sunnyside is one of the cheapest places to have a business.

Councilman Bruce Epps said he didn't feel raising the fees by 50 percent was an unreasonable amount.

Councilwoman Theresa Hancock said she would like to look at the numbers some more and then hold a public hearing Monday, Dec. 10, before making any decisions. The rest of the council agreed to this.

In other business conducted by the council at Monday's meeting, a public hearing was held on the proposed annexation of .45 acres on Swan Road, known as the Swan Market Annexation.

The question last night was what zoning designation should be given to the annexation.

When the planning commission first considered the annexation, it was requested the area be given a B-2 designation. This designation however would not allow for small businesses in the area so the council debated on changing the designation to a B-N zone, which would allow for grocery stores and markets to serve the everyday household needs of the local neighborhood.

No one spoke at the public hearing and council approved the re-zoning of the annexation.

The council also closed out a Community Development Block Grant for a housing enhancement project in the amount of $150,000.

The grant was used in construction of improvements to facilitate development of the Diocese of Yakima housing project near the intersection of Sheller Road and North 16th Street.

The project is now complete and the manager of Catholic Charities of Yakima, John Probst, applauded the city and the building department for its help.

Also at last night's meeting, Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder presented his assistant, Charlotte Hinderlider, with a plaque from the Special Olympics. Hinderlider was honored for her work with the Special Olympics, including her efforts in the law enforcement torch run.

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