ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud City Councilman George Hontos is pitching a plan to his colleagues tonight that's designed to help spur housing development in the city.  Hontos is proposing a $1,500 fee reduction on a new single-family home construction. It would be limited to the first 35 applicants and would sunset in October 2013.

Hontos says it would do a couple of things. It would create some jobs, make existing lots more attractive and ultimately generate more tax revenue for the city than if the lots remained empty. If it doesn't work, he says the city won't be out much.

So far, St. Cloud is on pace for only 21 new housing starts in 2012. That's down from a whopping 309 in 2005. The typical cost of all of the permits for a $160,000 home is between $4,500 and $4,800.

The city council will consider setting a public hearing for the plan at tonight's meeting.