Tri States Public Radio Staff
Some Rental Fees also Increasing
Fri January 10, 2014
Burlington Raises License/Permit Fees
It will cost a little more for some to do business in Burlington in 2014.
The city council has agreed to increase the cost of nearly a dozen licenses and permits.
The list of affected businesses and individuals include auctioneers, tree-trimmers, taxi-cabs and pawn shops.
City Manager Jim Ferneau says it’s been about four years since these fees were changed. He says most of the increases are 5%-7%.
"(They will help) to cover our costs for processing renewals," says Ferneau. "Our costs have gone up over the course of the last four years and we are trying to come up with a reasonable amount as well."
The city council has also increased the rental fees for the cabins and campsites on the city-owned Fetter and Otter Islands by more than 10%.
Ferneau says this should not impact usage as the rate will remain below what nearby communities charge for similar facilities.
A new fee structure for special events has also been established. It lays out the cost of items such as applications, picnic tables, and facilities.
Burlington is asking the Environmental Protection Agency for help in identifying environmental hot-spots.
The city council has authorized the city to apply for up to $400,000 from the agency.
Ferneau says the money would be used to identify potentially contaminated sites.
"(The idea is) to give those that have a clean bill of health a clean bill of health, which makes them more readily available for someone to use them," says Ferneau. "And for those thtat do have some clean-up that needs to be done, (the EPA) has another funding stream for clean-up."
Ferneau says the city does not have a set list of locations it wants to test, though some possibilities include the downtown depot and the former high school.
Meanwhile, the city council has agreed to apply for an $800,000 state grant on behalf of Hope Haven Area Development Corporation.
The organization would use the money from the Iowa Department of Economic Development to build a new downtown thrift store.
There would be no cost to the city associated with the grant.