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CG council ups some fees, lowers others

The Cottage Grove City Council on Wednesday amended a slew of city fees, including an increase in charges for life support services in a city ambulance and a rise in sewer rates, with decreases in streetlight and water fees.

Council members discussed the fee amendments during August's budget workshops. The new fees will take effect Jan. 1, 2010.

Some of the key changes:

- Water usage up to 15,000 gallons per billing period will now cost $1.30 per 1,000 gallons, down from $1.50.

- Residential and commercial base charges for sewer service will jump 10 cents in 2010, to $1.65 per property. Usage fees will also rise for commercial and residential properties, from $2.65 to $3 per 1,000 gallons for usage up to 30,000 gallons, and from $3.05 to $3.60 per 1,000 gallons for use over 30,000 gallons. City officials say the increase is needed because of a proposed increase in the Metropolitan Council sewer charge.

- Streetlight fees will drop. The charge for city-owned residential streetlights will decrease from $3.30 per month, per lot to $2.45; city-owned commercial lots will pay $1.05 per front footage, per year, down from $1.40. Fees on Xcel Energy-owned streetlights will go down from $6-a-month to $5.15.

- Ambulance fees for advanced life support treatment were raised 6 percent, to $1,230 for basic treatment and transport. Fees for standby medics at events will also be introduced.

- Rental fees for the full-size rinks at the expanded Cottage Grove Ice Arena during late night and early morning time slots will now cost $130, plus tax. The cost of renting time on the smaller studio rink also increased.

City officials have said residents will not see an increase in utility bills at similar levels of use, saying the decrease in water and streetlight fees will offset the sewer rate hike.