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Building fees going up in Addison Twp.

July 31, 2013 - Much like Oxford Township did back in June, Addison Township recently decided to increase its building fees in order to help cover its expenses.

"Many communities downsized in the last recession, but this was not an option for Addison Township," said Supervisor Bruce Pearson. "We kept our building department, but we only have the basics."

The board voted 7-0 to increase the fees at the July 15 regular board meeting, which went into effect July 16. However, all permits issued prior will be honored at the previous rate and the inspector paid accordingly to that rate. Fees were last updated in 2007.

The new building fees will be posted at

He doesn't expect to recoup the full cost of the building department, but Pearson said it's their duty to keep up on expenses and not let them "get out of control."

"If we do nothing to keep up with it, we slowly lose ground and we'll start to eat away (at) our general fund," he said. "We're here to provide a service and yet we need to limit our losses."

Doing so, however, is a "fine balance."

"I do believe the proposed schedules are appropriate," he said. "This increase will not deter anyone from pulling a new building permit from Addison Township."

An example would be a building permit for a 2,000-square-foot home built new would cost $1,563 under the old fees, under the new fees it would be $1,850.

The township is currently using approximately $31,000 of its $1.7 million general fund to cover the building department for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Part of the process of changing the fees, explained Pearson is "redefining the items people come in for when they're getting a building permit." Many times, he said, people would pay a fee for one thing and get multiple things done that didn't cost them. Pearson used an example of a new furnace.

"There are many more things that go with that and we weren't charging people for that and that (cost is what) we have (to) recoup. There is a gas line, there is electrical, there are several things that need to be inspected, with this new concept we have here, those things will be added in," he said. "People tell us what they're actually doing and then we set up the appropriate inspections and they're charged that much."

"I'm not done with it yet either," continued Pearson. "I think in another year or two we might even redefine it even more because we are going through all of our fee schedules. I think we can get this redefined so that's it is more representative of how people are building today."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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