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Wadena raises some fees ...

The Wadena City Council approved the 2010 license and fee schedule with changes ranging from a new fee for the private hiring of police officers to decreased golf membership costs for students.

Police Chief Bruce Uselman explained that counties and cities have been getting requests for officers for private details for domestic violence situations and extra security for celebrations such as wedding dances. The Wadena County Sheriff's Department recently had a request for a deputy, he said. The city doesn't have a fee in place for these situations and Uselman suggested $45 per hour. The amount is based off a senior officer's overtime rate, he said.

Officers would be in uniform, Uselman said, and they would be covered under workman's compensation.

Council members also approved a 2 percent increase to most Whitetail Run Golf Course membership fees, while reducing the fees for full-time students and adding a new rate for golfers under age 30.

Mayor Wayne Wolden said Manager Kevin Ross wants to make golf club membership more attractive to younger players.

High school membership was reduced from $175 a year to $100. College membership was reduced from $330 a year to $200. A new price for individuals under 30 years old was set at $330 compared to a typical single membership that costs $530 the first year and $630 a year after that.

Planning and Zoning Director Byron Larson suggested the council raise and even double some fees after he found the city was severely undercharging for them compared to other local governments. The application for re-zoning was raised from $75 to $100 and both the application for a conditional use permit and the application for a variance were doubled from $50 to $100. There were several other small fee increases for building permits.

There were also increases to the water department fee schedule. They are based on actual costs, said David Evans, electric and water superintendant.

Public Works Director Ron Bucholz explained the new fees for the tandem axle truck with plow when it's used for private lots and the snow hauling load fees for that truck.

Council members had some questions as City Administrator Brad Swenson went through the 10-page license and fee schedule.

Councilman Don Niles asked for an explanation about a $50 per load fee to haul water for pools.

Swenson said the city typically has a couple requests a year from people who want the fire department to haul a load of water to fill their backyard swimming pools rather than using a garden hose to do the task.

"$50 more than covers what our rate is," Swenson said. "This is meant to cover the water and the time to run the truck to a residence."