Groveport to phase in fee increases

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Groveport Village Council plans to incrementally enact an approximate 30 percent increase in its building and zoning fee schedule to soften the blow for those having to pay the fees.

"A 30 percent increase blows my mind," said Councilwoman Donna Drury at council’s April 21 committee of the whole meeting.

Council instructed village officials to prepare legislation for a 15 percent increase in the fees now and plan for putting the remaining 15 percent fee hike in place sometime in the future. Council also stated it wants the fee increase adjusted upward for building fees collected for inspections village officials do outside Groveport for other government entities. This would prevent such work from becoming a losing proposition for Groveport.

Chief Building Official Stephen Moore   said the proposed fee increase would put Groveport in line with what other communities charge and avoid the village having to subsidize the building department out of the general fund.

The proposed increase came as part of a recommendation in a study of the village’s fee schedule by Springsted Incorporated. The complete study, including the new proposed five page building and zoning fee schedule, is available for public view at the Groveport Municipal Building, 655 Blacklick St.

Moore noted that, along with increasing fees, several new fees are being recommended and other fees would be simplified.

"We also have kept permit fees as low as possible for existing homeowners while still recovering as much of the total cost of the services provided," wrote Moore in his report to council.

"The bigger the building, the more they pay," added Moore.

The last fee increase was in 2003.

Other Groveport news

•At a special meeting held prior to the committee meeting, council voted unanimously to oppose legislation pending in the Ohio state legislature that would eliminate mayor’s courts in the state. Council’s resolution read, in part, "…local communities should be given the opportunity to maintain a system of local justice which affords constitutional protections, provides a convenient forum for its citizens, and is presided over by a magistrate who understands the local community…"

•Susan Brobst from the Southeastern Franklin County Chamber of Commerce informed council about a program where community leaders and elected officials can "shadow" with an educator in the Groveport Madison school district on May 12 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. She said the goal is to have community leaders get an up close view of the challenges facing students and staff at the schools.

"If all goes well, next fall we’ll look into opening up the program to the whole community," said Brobst. "We’re excited about this. We think it will be a benefit to all involved."

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