East Carbon City Council updates building permits
At Tuesday's East Carbon council meeting, officials discussed plans to change the city's building permits as well as finding a way to get favorable property appraisals.
For a long time, East Carbon has had a difficult time receiving assessments and appraisals due to the small amount of property that has historically been sold within the city.
"We have to make sure that we aren't selling ourselves short," pointed out Mayor Orlando LaFontaine. "If you can't get the appraised property value to match what the land is worth to you, you shouldn't sell."
"The situation has become a catch 22 for us," added East Carbon Councilmember David Maggio. "We can't sell our property without a fair appraisal and we can't get a fair appraisal until we sell some property."
According to the mayor, property in the city has been selling. As that fact is recorded by the county, it will become easier for East Carbon to get fair appraisal rates.
The discussion was started at the Sept. 26 council meeting by a private company's interest building a subdivision in East Carbon.
At the present point, it is not only the cost that is keeping the city from selling the land for the subdivision, but the infrastructure problems that could arise from building on the proposed site.
"We are seeing real interest in our city property for the first time in a long time," said Councilmember Joyce Caviness.
As a result, the city council identified the need to address the problem as soon as possible.
Additionally, East Carbon has made a change in the city's building permitting policy.
East Carbon's building inspector, Tikinna Barker, prepared information detailing the changes.
Instead of requiring a permit for repairs of $500 or more, the city will start from $0.
There have been many circumstances where materials were donated, according to officials.
However, the projects still need to be overseen by an inspector.
"The fees are still the same. We just want all projects that require a permit to be done safely and correctly," said Barker.
By code, there are some projects that do not require a permit.
A copy of all permitted exceptions is available at the East Carbon City Hall as public information.
Residents may also contact Barker at East Carbon City for further information.
There are penalties for building without a permit. The standard fine in $60.
If a stop work order is issued, a fine of $60 will be required as well.
If home additions are being made, a scaled drawing is required with the permit application.
East Carbon residents may not begin a project until they receive a copy of the application from the building inspector stating that the work is approved.
Introducing an unrelated matter at the Sept. 26 council meeting, LaFontaine gave a detailed description of the playground equipment he hopes to purchase by way of a matching 50/50 grant.
The grant is available through Great Western Park and Playground.
The mayor indicated that the Carbon County Recreation and Transportation Special Service District could provide the matching portion of grant.
The mayor will approach the special service district for the funds on Oct. 2.
The playground plans include a large structure for young children as well as "fit circuit" for teenagers and adults.
As a final note, officials selected a replacement councilmember at the Tuesday meeting.
Terry Harrison, a retiree who moved to East Carbon in 2003, was appointed to the council.
Harrison has 30 years of supervision and management training.
He is a member of the East Carbon Coalition, neighborhood watch and the city fire department.