Building permit fee to increase

MONMOUTH — Building permits in Monmouth will cost 10 percent more effective Jan. 1, 2018.

The City Council approved the increase on Nov. 21, as well as an automatic 3 percent raise effective July 1 of the next three years, on the recommendation of the Building Department.

The increases will involve all statewide specialty codes (codes involving different kinds of buildings) that the city administers.

Building Official Larry Thornton said the raises are necessary to maintain the viability of his department and cover increasing costs.

Thornton noted a substantial increase for the Public Employees Retirement System and rising health care costs for Polk County.

Also approved was an advance refunding proposal involving 2010 Minet bonds and 2011 sewer bonds.

Janet Chenard, city finance officer, said the city could save an estimated $963,987 over the remaining life of the debt.

The council also voted to create a reserve line item in the city budget.

The item, which will be in the general fund, would require council approval for spending any money in it.

A proposal to expand the two-hour parking area in Monmouth was tabled. The limit would involve the length of Monmouth Avenue between Clay and Jackson streets.

Russ Cooper, public works director, recommended the expansion because people often have to park several blocks away from residential streets.

Councilor Thomas Steinke responded that limits on parking in front of residences could be hard on guests. Councilor Darin Silbernagel agreed and said the proposed two-hour area should be shortened.

Other comments from the council were suggestions by Jon Carey that a limit effective Monday through Friday would be reasonable, and by Royal Johnson that there should be a six-month trial period for any parking regulation change.

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