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Annual permits sought

Published (2/18/2011)
By Mike Cook
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Every time Lake Area Docks & Lifts wants to transport a larger boat lift or dock from its store to a lake place via a trunk highway, it must get a special permit from the Department of Transportation.

Sponsored by Rep. Bud Nornes (R-Fergus Falls), HF80 would allow the authorization of annual permits for such businesses in the state. A single trip permit costs $15, while the proposed annual permit would be $120, the same as a current boat rate.

MnDOT officials said they could simply revamp the boat permit, instead of expending money to create a whole new permit.

“In the springtime, we make between 10 and 15 trips per store, per week. We have three stores,” said Dale Graff, a general manager with the company. “If we could get an annual permit it would significantly reduce our workload.”

“Part of it is just making business a little easier. It’s a lot of extra work to have to apply every time,” Nornes said. “Consumers of those products want delivery fast. You don’t want to wait too long to get your new dock, your new lift. Summer’s too short for that. I think this makes small business more efficient.”

A fiscal note indicates a minimal savings to the state in each of the next four fiscal years.

The bill was held over Feb. 14 by the House Transportation Policy and Finance Committee for possible omnibus bill inclusion. A companion, SF67, sponsored by Sen. Gretchen Hoffman (R-Vergas), awaits action by the Senate Transportation Committee.

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