Atlantic City Council to hear abatement request from Cass County Fair Board


August 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council is expected to hear a request during its meeting Wednesday evening, for the abatement of the fee for a building permit pertaining to the Cass County Fairgrounds. The Cass County Ag and Ed. Association, commonly referred to as the “Fair Board,” is asking the City of waive the building permit fee of just under $3,100, for the construction of a Cattle Barn on the Fairgrounds.

Cass Co. Fair Cattle Barn schematic

Cass Co. Fair Cattle Barn schematic

Zoning Administrator John Lund, will not be present to explain why he feels the fee was exorbitant for what he calls a “Glorified carport,” but City Administrator Doug Harris will speak on his behalf. City Attorney Dave Weiderstein has also indicated he has similar thoughts on the matter. Doug Harris says while Lund has reservations on a complete abatement of the fee due to precedent and fairness (as no entity is exempt from building permit fees outside of the City itself and AMU/Utility companies for basic infrastructure), he has sympathy for an entity that exists purely on donations, and provides an educational and enjoyable experience for all Cass County residents and visitors while remaining free to the public.

The Cattle Barn building is funded through donations from both individuals and businesses around Cass County. Construction on the 86-foot wide, 120-fott long all steel, clear-span structure is expected to begin within about  30-days. It will have open sides, with steel sliding doors on the ends and a dirt floor. The building is expected to cost nearly $84,300.

Regardless of the Council’s decision on approving abatement of the fee request, Lund has indicated he will likely present the matter before the Finance and Personnel Committee, so they can determine if the ordinance Lund must follow is flawed, and ways in which they can be improved to reflect a fair and logical pricing system for everyone.