MANDAN, N.D. — On a 5-0 vote, the Mandan Park Board on Monday approved a motion to support higher building permit fees to buy new park land. The city and park officials have proposed that park building permit fees increase to $250 per multi-family apartment complex, $500 for each new house built and $1,000 for each new commercial development.

"Had the fees increased in 2013, we would have had enough to do another park," said Parks and Recreation Director Cole Higlin, referring to the rapid development in the city.

The park board also voted to start its meetings at 4:30 p.m. in 2014 to allow accounting manager Heide Delorme to participate in the meetings. Delorme also serves on the Bismarck School Board and has experienced scheduling conflicts. Park board members heard few protests about the scheduling change.

The park board learned that the Lincoln Elementary School will be the site for the fastball softball field for the next five years. The park board and the school district will each pay $50,000 toward the development.

The board reduced its hours at the Mandan Aquatic Center due to lack of use. The pool will be open from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, closing an hour earlier.

Reach LeAnn Eckroth at 701-250-8264 or leann.eckroth@bismarcktribune.com.