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Front Page » July 3, 2014 » Carbon County News » East Carbon tries to bring fairness to permit costs
Published 148 days ago

East Carbon tries to bring fairness to permit costs


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By C.J. McMANUS
Sun Advocate associate editor

The East Carbon City Council reviewed the cost of building permits during Tuesday's regularly scheduled meeting, working to bring balance into a system that has shown some disparities concerning the cost of repairing and improving one's home.

"I had a concern when I looked at the cost of some of the building permits being purchased by our citizens. And my concern is that it seems like it costs more to re-roof your house than to build on an addition," said city Mayor Doug Parsons. "I looked at a couple of $5,000 renovations and the fees on those projects are less than re-roofing a house."

Parsons asked that the council look at the current building permit fee schedules in order to make the payments a little more fair.

Council member David Maggio also took issue with the fee schedule, discussing the cost associated with putting on a new roof structure in comparison to simply putting new shingles on top of the existing ones.

A resident who recently put new shingles on his home in East Carbon was charged $187 for a permit to do so. Several addition projects costing more than $5,000 have cost city residents less than $100 showing a glaring disparity, according to several council members and residents alike.

According to city recorder Liz Holt, there are different fee schedules for electrical, roofing, structure and valuation. Under these schedules, electrical is a straight fee of $86 and roofing is a straight fee of $187.

However, if a resident chooses to replace his entire roof structure as part of a larger building plan, he can then pay his building permit under the valuation schedule.

This can be advantageous because if a resident can show that they are using re-purposed wood or that they bartered for their supplies, the cost of their project goes down and so does the cost of their permit.

According to council member Barbara Robinett, the problem stems from the fact that the schedule comes directly from what East Carbon was doing before the merger. It was her opinion that the council needs to review the fee schedule now that the cities have merged and a new administration has been elected.

As the issue closed, it was requested the city recorder Holt pull all fee schedules and what the city had been paid in building permits this year. The council will now review these documents and possibly move forward with a permanent change to the city's building permit fee schedule.

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