Cost of Reynoldsburg permit fees could change

Reynoldsburg is looking at changing the amount of permit fees to recover the costs of the city¹s services.

Chief Building Officer Chet Hopper approached city council during a safety committee meeting Nov. 3 about a proposed ordinance that would increase some of the fees, while there is talk that others could be reduced.

Hopper said staff has looked at the city¹s fees during the past three years and felt the city was not recovering the cost for the services provided, such as inspections.

He began looking at what other communities charge for services and found some of Reynoldsburg¹s fees were lower.

Hopper acknowledged the workload of inspectors has been reduced in residential construction, but has increased in commercial construction.

"When we start to build bigger boxes, we spend more time there," he said.

Because of this, council member Ron Stake said he is concerned with how most of the rate increases affect residential fees versus commercial fees, and suggested looking at increasing more of the commercial fees.

Given the state of the economy, council member Doug Joseph suggested looking further at other communities¹ fees and adjusting some of Reynoldsburg¹s accordingly, including reducing some of the fees that currently are higher in Reynoldsburg.

Joseph said he is concerned that a resident who is not doing a significant remodel or addition will see substantial fee hikes that they might not see in other communities.

"I hate to see people put these things on the back burner because of the fees," he said.

Council member Donna Shirey said fees have not increased since 2004 and doesn¹t feel Reynoldsburg should react to other cities¹ rate schedules.

"I think Reynoldsburg needs to stand on its own two feet and do what¹s best for the city," Shirey said.

Council president William L. Hills said the city should look at the problem of enforcing the permit fees, especially if new ones are enacted that residents may not be familiar with.

The issue will be looked at again at the Nov. 17 city council special committee meeting.

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