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Continued: State briefs: Northern Minnesota town of Cormorant elects dog as mayor

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  • Last update: August 16, 2014 - 7:02 PM

It will soon cost a St. Cloud homeowner $500 to convert a house into a rental property.

The City Council approved the bigger fee Monday as part of a package of increases meant to cut down on problem properties and offset the cost of staffing the inspections department.

The old fee for converting to rental was $125, according to the council agenda. Other increases include $10 more for rental licenses. The fine for a minor violation of the property maintenance ordinance or the nuisance ordinance will double to $200.

The larger fees and fines could bring in $100,000, the agenda said.

Resident Chester Rorvig said he’d support the increased fees “if they result in better enforcement, because that’s the key.”

“It seems to me those who are causing the expense — especially the repeat violators — are those who should be paying the cost,” he said, according to video of the meeting. Some landlords urged the council to focus on fines against problem property owners instead of raising fees for all.

JENNA ROSS @ByJenna

STAPLES

Communities split $5 million in grants

The Bush Foundation awarded almost $5 million in grants to communities across Minnesota and the Dakotas this week.

The grants went to groups working to solve local issues that range from economic development to water pollution to human trafficking.

Among the recipients was the Region Five Development Commission in Staples as it works to bolster economic development in 22 surrounding communities and “create a more economically stable and culturally resilient place to live.” The Red River Basin Commission in Fargo-Moorhead received $198,600 toward its efforts to keep agricultural runoff from polluting the river.

Arts on Superior in Two Harbors received $42,240 toward its effort to revitalize a dying, boarded-up downtown. The Lakes Country Service Cooperative in Fergus Falls received $87,858 to help as it creates a pilot program to pair local school districts with locally grown food.

For a full list of the grant recipients: www.bushfoundation.org.

Jennifer Brooks @stribrooks

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