Coon Rapids ordinances, resolutions put 2013 fees in place

Two ordinances and five resolutions setting city fees for 2013 were unanimously approved by the Coon Rapids City Council Nov. 20.

One ordinances included license and service fees, while the other covered building inspection charges.

The resolutions included fees set by state statute, water meters and planning and inspection charges; CTN Studio fees; sewer availability charges; fees and charges for city park facilities; and adult softball league fees.

“There are not a whole lot of changes other than cost of living adjustments (COLA),” said Finance Director Sharon Legg.

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.

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.”

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.

• The proposed on-sale 3.2 malt liquor license fee will increase $5. A state-mandated public hearing on this proposal brought no comment.

Certain other fees won’t 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.

Building inspection fees, for the most part, will not increase in 2013, Vouk wrote in his report to the council.

Mayor Tim Howe and Councilmember Denise Klint raised that question when the building inspection ordinance was introduced at the Nov. 7 meeting.

Vouk outlined four areas where building inspection fees will go up.

• The value tier of $1,000,001 and up will 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.

Certain fee, charges

Fees set by state statute – notary fee, returned check charge, day care inspection fee and document charges – have not been changed.

The city’s charge for replacement water meters stays the same because the city’s cost has not changed, according to Vouk.

The community development department is increasing the planning and inspection letter charge from $50 to $60 to offset the actual cost.

Sewer charge

The sewer availability charge for all new and expanding sewer system users reflects the amount charged to the city by the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES), which has informed the city that it will increase $70 or 3 percent.

“The funds are used by MCES to retire debt incurred to build and expand the metro sewer system,” Vouk wrote in his report to the council.

The single-family SAC charge jumps from $2,440 to $2,510, which includes $75 that the city keeps to cover monitoring property usage as required by MCES, according to Vouk.

Park fees, charges

Categories for determining use charges were changed to be consistent with those used for the civic center and ice center, Vouk wrote in his report.

That means non-profit groups will no longer use park facilities without charge, he wrote.

They will be part of the regular fee category, bringing them in line with state guidelines which do not allow the city to donate funds or services, according to Vouk.

As part of the revised categories, non-resident fees were added for Riverwind, Lions Coon Creek Park and picnic shelters, Vouk wrote.

Other fee changes for the city’s parks include:

• Picnic shelter rates at the soccer complex, Crooked Lake and Riverwind will increased from $30 to $36 for the first three hours and $10 to $12 for each additional hour to be comparable with shelter 4 at Lions Coon Creek Park.

• The Sand Creek concession stand charge has been changed from $60 for the first three hours and $10 for each additional hour to a fixed daily rate of $150.

• Resident fees for soccer, baseball and football/lacrosse were increased from $75 to $100 for the two-hour rate.

“All other park facility fees will remain the same for 2013,” Vouk wrote in his report.

Adults softball

Adult softball league registration fees increase from 1 to 4 percent.

This is to cover increased costs of the program, according to Vouk.