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North Minneapolis tenants get extra time to find replacement housing

The tenants of rental landlord Ron Folger are getting another three months, at least, to find replacement housing after the Minneapolis City Council on Friday revoked his rental license for the next five years.

Folger owns 16 rental properties in North Minneapolis. Licenses for two of those units had been  revoked earlier this year, triggering the mandatory five-year ban as outlined in the city ordinance.  One revocation involved a tenant with narcotics. The other was the failure by a tenant to allow the city inspector into the building.

Originally, tenants were to get 90 days to vacate properties owned by Folger. They now will have until June 15.

“Our intent was to be very ‘planfull’ about the impact on the tenants and their families,” said Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, who has been working with social service agencies to further help the displaced. The June deadline will allow families to keep their children in the same school through the school year.

Folger can appeal the loss of his rental license to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. That action could further extend the deadline for his renters to move. 

“I’m a good landlord,” said Folger after the council vote. He has not announced whether he’ll appeal but did say that he is being treated “wrongfully.”

Here’s a quick look at other council action:

Pet licenses
In a move to increase the number of licensed dogs and cats in the city, council members voted to decrease the license fees.

The cost of licensing one spayed or neutered dog, for example, goes from $30 a year to $15.  The fee for a dog that has not been spayed or neutered goes from $50 to $40.

The move is not entirely to help the owners of dogs and cats. License fees bring in revenue, and this year’s record number of licenses has produced record-high revenue. 

In 2007, only 8,736 pets were licensed in Minneapolis, compared with this year’s 14,652. Revenue for 2007 totaled $333,530 compared with $421,345 in 2011.

Minneapolis pet owners are not exactly proactive when it comes to licensing. Officials estimated that about 12 percent of city pets are licensed, compared with 10-percent in St. Paul.

Water and sewer rates
Minneapolis residents will not be paying more for the volume of water and sewer use, but there will be new monthly service fees. Beginning in January, residents’ utility bills will include monthly charges of $2 for water and  $3 for sewage.

The move is meant to “stabilize a revenue source,” said City Engineer Steve Kotke. A dry year, for example, can produce a $9 million swing in revenue, he said..

$25 trees
Residents’ February utility bill will contain instructions for ordering a tree from the city for $25.  Order early to avoid disappointment.

Council Member Hodges: The Early Years
She was Baby Sitter Betsy the first time she crossed paths with Brady Kiernan. Now she’s plugging the first-time director’s movie “Stuck Between Stations,” which is playing this weekend at St. Anthony Main. Shot in Minneapolis, the film features a lot of local talent.

Hodges told her colleagues they would see scenes shot in their own wards — reason enough for a few hours at the movies.

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