The Atlantic City Council voted unanimously to approve making a contribution of $3,008.80 to the Cass County Agricultural & Educational Association (commonly referred to the as “Fair Board”) for the newly constructed cattle barn on the Cass County Fair Grounds.
Last August, the Board asked the Council to waive the $3,500 building permit fee for the construction of the open cattle barn. The Council came to the conclusion that the old fee schedule be adjusted for such structures, and later amended the building permit fee schedule, to reduce the per-square foot fee, and cap the total building fee for unattached, accessory structures, at $500.
Under the new fee, the Fair Board would have only had to pay the $500 fee, but it is not retroactive, and therefore does not apply to permits issued prior to Sept. 4th. The Board paid the $3,500 fee, but then stopped payment on the check while the matter was being debated and resolved among City officials.
With the Council’s approval Wednesday night, the Fair Board will write a check for $3,500, which the City will cash. The City will in-turn write a check to the Fair Board minus the $500 permit fee the Board would have been charged under the new fee structure. Councilperson Kathy Somers explained that having the City make a contribution to the Fair Board in the manner approved, is no different than the City approving tax abatements and other incentives in town. She said “So why wouldn’t we want to support our own County Fair with an improvement to their building in Atlantic?”
The main reason the Council decided to make the donation as described, was so that there would be a clear “paper trail” showing the Fair Board paid the original building permit fee as required under the old fee structure.