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Spirit Lake to repeal city building codes

By Staff | Feb 28, 2008

The Spirit Lake City Council in regular session Tuesday night approved a statement of intent to eliminate the city building code.

If the code is eliminated, the city would subsequently eliminate the position of City Building Inspector Paul Hughes.

The move comes in response to decreased building activity. As a result, the money generated from building permit fees does not warrant having a full-time building inspector, according to City Administrator Mark Stevens.

Stevens said Spirit Lake is the only local government in Dickinson County with a building code.

“We are going to see a substantial reduction in building fees,” Stevens said, noting a current range of $2,000 to $4,000 for building fees. Rather than lose revenue for the city, though, the move will save considerable costs without paying for a full-time building inspector, he said.

“It will avoid a major drain on our general fund,” Stevens said.

Repeal of the city building codes received support from local contractor Bill Eich while some in the audience disagreed with repealing the city building codes, citing public safety concerns.

In other business, the council agreed to hold a public hearing on the proposed fiscal 2009 budget March 15.

The council also agreed that the city would accept a lesser rebate from the Country Acres Estates Development for the city’s utilities infrastructure investment.

The council also approved a resolution approving the employment agreement with Stevens, extending the period from a one-year to a two-year contract.

Jason Carlstrom of the Airport Board appeared before the council to request an increase in funding from the current $6,000 to $25,000 for the airport.