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Is it cheap to build in Alexandria?

No one likes paying the fees that come with building a new home or a business.

But if you're doing it in Alexandria, you can find some small comfort in this: The fees are a lot cheaper here than in other cities.

City Administrator Jim Taddei recently presented the Alexandria City Council with a summary of how Alexandria's building permit fees compare with five other similar-sized cities.

Alexandria's fees ranked at rock bottom - about half that of Brainerd's and much lower than the fees in Fergus Falls, Detroit Lakes, Willmar and Bemidji.

The summary, calculated by Alexandria Building Official Bruce Jaspersen, was based on the fees to construct a house valued at $103,080.

For those planning to build in Alexandria, the news isn't all good, however. Because the fees are so low, Alexandria may consider raising them soon.

Taddei noted that the city hasn't increased the buildings fees in about five years. He added that building permit fees are among the largest fee revenue sources the city has.

The 2011 preliminary budget, which the council recently approved, projected that the city will receive $382,080 in licenses and permits next year. Building fees are included in that total, which represents about 4 percent of the city's total budget of $10.16 million.

After reviewing the summary of the building fees, the council didn't take any action.

It is expected to consider adjusting the fees later this fall when it sets all of the city's fees for 2011.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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