Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Stunek approached the Brainerd City Council Monday with a recommendation for fees to be charged for fireworks sales, inspections, as well as training to help alleviate the cost to the city.
“A lot of other cities already charge a fee for a specialized service and require a fee for a permit (like fireworks sales),” said Stunek. “It’s a fee to keep people running their business safe and keeping the general public safe.”
Applying the minimal charge, the fees will range between $5 for personal training at the Brainerd Fire Department up to $75 for a permit issued to fireworks sales and any other pyrotechnic displays.
A service currently free in Brainerd, council member Bob Olson opposed the motion to approve citing the poor economy and tight pockets many people currently have.
“Now is a bad time to put fees on anyone and I see it really as just another hidden tax,” Olson said. “I don’t think we should be charging our citizens and therefor will not be supporting the fee.”
Despite Olson’s voiced concerns, the rest of the council agreed to approve the enforcement of fees, passing the recommendation on a 5 to 1 vote. Council member Kevin Goedker was absent from Monday’s meeting.
Stunek said the fee will be revisited yearly and break down as follows:
• $75 fee for each permit issued for fireworks sales, displays, and pyrotechnic special effects material.
• $50 fee for inspection of day care facilities and child and adult foster care facilities located outside the Brainerd Fire Department’s covered service area.
• $5 per person fee for training from the fire department. The department has provided training for employees of private businesses. There would be a cap of $100 per business per training topic or program.
• $5 per person fee for training personnel from other fire departments.
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