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DeKalb City Council considers fee increases

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

DeKALB – Increases in building permit fees are being considered by the DeKalb City Council.

On Tuesday evening, city Assistant Director of Public Works Joel Maurer presented the council’s Committee of the Whole with a spreadsheet outlining a number of increases, primarily for fire alarms and large amperage electrical services, both related to commercial development.

Overall, Maurer said the fees will get some “minor tweaking,” but called the changes related to commercial development significant.

“It’s been 10 years since we’ve reviewed the fee structure,” Maurer said.

“It’s probably about time it was done, then,” said 5th Ward Alderman Ron Naylor.

Maurer explained the rates are not based on time actually spent with the customer in most cases.

In some cases, Maurer recommends that fees are added where none existed before. For example, a $60 fee is recommended for inspections for fire prevention or insulation.

“We’re spending more time on those types of inspections,” Maurer said.

Other new fees proposed include $150 for fire alarm – commercial plan review, $75 for fire sprinkler systems with up to 99 heads, $60 for residential plumbing, miscellaneous plan reviews and $45 for porch demolition.

“With the current economic climate, I don’t foresee bringing in more than a couple of thousand dollars more in revenue. Now, if we get a big industrial development, we could see $15,000 or more in fees,” Maurer said.

With the council’s consent, Mayor John Rey asked Maurer to bring the proposal back to the council in ordinance form.

What’s next 

The proposed building permit fees will be presented in ordinance form to the DeKalb City Council at its next meeting Nov. 25.

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