Most Coon Rapids fees proposed to go up 1.5 percent

Ordinances and a resolution setting city fees for 2013 will be considered for approval by the Coon Rapids City Council at its Nov. 20 meeting.

The ordinances, which also include building inspection fees, were introduced by the council Nov. 7.

According to Kevin Vouk, manager of accounting/treasurer, most fees are proposed to be increased 1.5 percent with some exceptions.

However, a fee increase is only recommended if the adjustment is enough for the amount to be rounded to the next significant dollar figure, Vouk wrote in a report to the council.

Exceptions to the recommended fee increases include:

• Fees set by state statute for alcoholic beverages and gambling investigations will not change for 2013.

• There will be no change in the city’s on-sale liquor license fee of $9,350 following a comparison with fees set by other cities.

• No change is recommended in the city’s property monitoring fees of $600 per year for residential property and $1,000 annually for commercial property to cover related costs, put in place in 2007.

• There are cases where there is no change proposed to the fee due to rounding.

“For example, the tobacco license investigation fee which is rounded to the nearest $5 had a calculated base amount of $120.60 in 2012, which was rounded to $120,” Vouk states in his report to the council.

“For 2013, the calculated base increased to $122.14, which rounded to the nearest $5 leaves the fee at $120.”

In addition, staff recommended that certain other fees not see an increase in 2013 if the current amount is adequate to cover current costs, are seldom used and therefore difficult to establish a cost basis and/or are comparable with rates charged by other cities, according to Vouk.

There are changes recommended to some building inspection fees in 2013.

• The value tier of $1,000,001 and up is proposed to be eliminated with the highest tier to be set at $500,001 and up.

According to Vouk, structures over $1,000,000, because of their size, typically require multiple inspection visits for certain components of the construction – for example, all of the footings may not be ready for inspection at the same time – so inspection costs were increasing, while the $1,000,001 and up tier was charging a lower fee per thousand to the amount beyond $1,000,000.

Eliminating this tier has the effect of increasing the permit by $50 for every $100,000 of valuation over $1,000,000, Vouk wrote.

• The state-mandated inspection of a garage door replacement, not previously included in the ordinance, will be part of the building permit fees.

• A fee of $250 has been added for a loan property condition inspection and report.

• The sewer and water permit fees are proposed to be calculated according to a table except for residential properties which will be a flat rate.

Other sections of the building inspection fee ordinance are not recommended to change in 2013.

Prior to consideration of the building inspection fee ordinance at its Nov. 20 meeting, the council asked for more information on sliding scale fees and whether they translate into an increase.

As part of the Nov. 20 consideration of the ordinances, a public hearing is required by state law on the proposed 3.2 malt liquor license fee increase.

The fee is proposed to increase $5 for on-sale 3.2 malt liquor licenses, according to Vouk.

The public hearing will take place at 7 p.m. Nov. 20.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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