Blaine Cemetery fees increase
Per the recommendation of the Blaine Park and Cemetery Board, Blaine City Council voted to approve a substantial increase to Blaine Cemetery fees. According to a staff report, the changes were made in an effort to cover expenses and maintain the H Street cemetery for the long-term.
Prior to approving the adjusted fee structure, the city subsidized cemetery operations with general fund revenue. Each year for the past eight years, it’s cost the city an estimated $11,000.
Funds collected through the increased fee structure will be used to, in part, grow the endowment fund, which covers cemetery maintenance – leading up to the April 10 vote, the fund was far from meeting the value required to cover operations.
“We are seeking to achieve cemetery solvency and ensure long-term management of the cemetery in a respectful manner at a price that is not excessively burdensome to the plot purchaser,” read a recent staff report.
Included in the approved fee adjustment is an increase from $550 to $1,100 for a plot purchase, $550 to $1,500 for burial and an increase from $300 to $750 for the endowment fee, among
City council approves restrictions for use of storage containers
Blaine City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that outlines a number of regulations for the use of temporary and permanent storage containers.
First brought to the city in December 2016, the amendment proposal received a recommendation of approval from the Blaine Planning Commission on March 23. Now in effect, temporary storage containers can be placed on a single-family residence for the span of six months within a consecutive 12-month period if a permit has been issued by the city.
The amendment also stipulates that storage containers can be used on construction sites and in the event of an emergency. In residential districts, the containers cannot be used as accessory structures, such as a shed.
City terminates contract with Walsh Marine, refunds thousands in wastewater fees
Blaine city manager Dave Wilbrecht put it simply when he approached Blaine City Council during a regular meeting on April 10. “This is a very strange item for you,” he said.
In short, the city approved a three-year contract with Blaine-based Walsh Marine in 2015 to treat stormwater at the Lighthouse Point Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The city penned the contract with the business after realizing Walsh Marine had been discharging wastewater through an illegal connection. In the contract, Walsh Marine agreed to pay back the city for the services it used in addition to fees for future use of the city’s wastewater treatment facility.
Last winter, representatives from Walsh Marine approached the city and requested to terminate the contract, stating they had stopped utilizing the city’s wastewater treatment facility when they signed the contract in 2015. As a result, they had paid for a service they were not provided.
On April 10, the city council agreed to terminate the contract and refund $9,896.83. In all, Walsh Marine has paid $23,422.58 in wastewater fees.