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News briefs: Newport on the Move looks for skates; Citizen's Academy applications open

Newport on the Move looks for skates

Newport citizen group Newport on the Move is collecting ice skates for free use at the Loveland Park rinks, Newport on the Move member Pauline Schottmuller said at the Aug. 2 City Council meeting.

"One of the barriers to kids skating down there is they don't have skates," she said. "... So we thought if we had used skates available for kids to use down there free, that would remove that barrier."

The group is looking for all used skates, in any kids' size and will accept adult sizes as well.

Schottmuller said they are partnering with Bartl Hardware to get the donated skates sharpened and re-laced. Donations can be dropped off at City Hall.

WAC and SAC fees

After many years, the city has decided to raise trunk fees, as well as water access charge (WAC) and sewer access charge (SAC) — or the fees cities charge for property owners to access water and sewer services.

Costs are changing from a single, flat fee for all kinds of building in the city, to individual fees for single-family, multifamily, industrial and commercial construction.

WAC and SAC are increasing from $750 to $1,050 on single-family homes.

Trunk fees on a single-family home will go up from $1,500 to $1,750. Multi-family dwellings will be charged based on the number of units per acre, ranging from $490 to $900 for each unit.

Charges will also be added for any commercial change of use, such as if more units are added.

The trunk fee charge for a commercial and industrial buildings will increase to $4,360 per acre.

"Our choice is to continue to subsidize development, or decide that we've reached the point where we don't need to subsidize development with these artificially low fees, and bring our fees up in line with our neighboring communities," Mayor Dan Lund said. "But because we've held them flat for so long, it's a very big increase. But I think the reason for that is well-justified."

The change went into effect Aug. 2 when the City Council approved the change 5-0.

Citizen's Academy

The annual Citizen's Academy is accepting applications until Sep. 7. Participation is free to up to 20 people 18 or older who lives or works in Cottage Grove and can pass a background check.

Participants in the four-week class will hear lectures, see demonstrations, go on ride-alongs and do hands-on exercises.

The eighth-annual Citizen's Academy aims to help residents better understand law enforcement and the challenges they face.

The application can be found at https://cottagegrovemn.gov/police/tours-a-events/citizens-academy.

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