The New Ulm City Council on Tuesday agreed upon increases to the city’s liquor license fees, but not as much as originally proposed. The initial proposal had called for increasing annual on-sale liquor licenses by $750 next year, but the council decided upon a $250 increase instead after hearing from several New Ulm bar owners, including Rodney Zimmer. He described how the industry has seen costs go through the roof in recent years, while revenue has gone down. Zimmer also said he was all for helping the city with increasing it’s revenue, but that fee increases should be spread out among other businesses as well. On and off-sale 3.2 beer and wine licenses will see a $50 hike as well, along with off-sale 3.2 beer. Many of the fees have not been increased since the 1990s. New Ulm City Manager Brian Gramentz told the bar owners at Tuesday’s meeting that the license fees are tied to the cost of enforcing the law. He said that the city’s cost of doing business has gone up, but the license fees have not been touched in many years. The fees will likely be increased again next year as well. Other city fees that were increased during Tuesday’s meeting included for tobacco licenses, cemetery plots, vacating property and the cost of being administered a breathalyzer test. In other business Tuesday, the council reappointed Paul Macho as New Ulm Fire Chief. Macho has been a member of the New Ulm Fire Department for 26 years, and has served as chief for the past four years.
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