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County contemplates a jump in fees

By Staff | Jan 12, 2014

The Faribault County Board kicked off the New Year with a heated discussion on raising fees.

Michele Stindtman was present at the meeting last Tuesday with some planning and zoning items to be taken care of.

One of those items was whether or not to raise the fees for building permits and if a permit should be required per site or per structure.

“I’m bringing this to you so we can have it set in black and white,” Stindtman says. “Right now there are just too many variables.”

For example, if someone applies for a building permit to build a garage, they would be charged the same as a person planning to build a complete farming operation.

“If we require it per structure, that’s becoming very unfair,” Commissioner Tom Warmka says.

“That’s why we’re here, we’ve had people tell us it’s already unfair,” Stindtman explains.

Commissioner Bill Groskruetz wondered if it would help the issue if the permit fee was based on percentage.

“I completely disagree. The person building a garage will have his taxes barely go up,” Warmka says. “But the person building a grain leg, his taxes will go way up, that’s going to continue to cost him, while benefiting the county.”

Along with defining the terms of the permits, whether they should be issued per site or per structure remained in question.

“We’re not going to micro-manage, but it’s something we need to look into,” Commissioner Tom Loveall says.

Stindtman also noted that the fee for the permit has not been raised in quite some time and the current fee isn’t covering all the work the office personnel is responsible for.

“With the GIS?viewer, our staff has to upload all of the site and structure information,” she says. “And the current fees just don’t cover all of the time we spend doing that.” It was proposed for the fees to be raised from $100 to $150 for a new structure; $50 to $100 for expanding to an existing structure (with a deck, attached garage, porch, etc.); and from $30 to $50 for an accessory structure (gazebo, pool or building which is less than 150 square feet).

The discussion continued for some time before it was tabled and to be revisited at the next County Board meeting.

In other business;

the commissioners approved the assignments to various boards and committees for 2014.

the County Board heard from the Wells city administrator and city engineer about their application for the Safe Routes to School program.

County Board voted to approve the 2014 meeting dates for the first and third Tuesday of each month.