A natural gas franchise fee was on the Fairmont City Council agenda Monday. Fairmont customers of Minnesota Energy, the city’s natural gas provider, will notice a slight increase in their monthly bills next year , due to a franchise fee approved by a 4-1 council vote. Wayne Hasek dissented. “To me, this just seems like a tax increase,” he said. Fairmont gas customers will pay $2.50 plus a therm fee every month, costing them about $40 to $50 annually. The fee is to be part of a plan to eventually reduce or eliminate assessments on future street improvements.
Policy decisions about the tree dump and housing demolition program were approved also at Monday’s meeting. Councilors approved a policyregarding use of the yard waste and tree recycling site just west of the city.This site is very popular and highly used by city utility customers and there also appears to be many users from outside the city dumping at the site as well. To that end the policy set some rules and guidelines for the public to comply with. Troy Nemmers , Fairmont’s Director of Public Works and City Engineer proposed a policy that would close the site over the winter months and has restrictions for commercial users of the site . A permit will be required for any business that utilizes the site. A co,mmercial permit application will require at $1,500 permit fee and sets prices on large loads that may need to be deposited there. The Council approved the plan with no opposition, also approving a Housing Demolition Program Policy.
The council approved an addition of 9 holes to the mini-golf course at the aquatic park. The Kids Just Want to Have Fun Committee requested a $10,000 request to complete the project this spring. Te Fairmont CIty Council heard from Marty Seifert from the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities who told the board about the lobbying efforts that helped bring the city $776,000 in Cares Act money to alleviate Covid related costs in the city. And also $65,000 more in Local Government Aid for next year.