January 08, 2014 - It's a new year and Oxford Township has a new schedule of building fees.
As of Jan. 1, it will cost significantly more to undertake any residential or commercial construction.
Back in June 2013, the township board voted to increase the building department's fee schedule in order to make it self-sustaining and end the practice of subsidizing the department with tax money from the general fund.
Officials gave builders and developers six months to adjust before the new fees took effect. The new fee schedule can be found by visiting www.oxfordtownship.org
Supervisor Bill Dunn indicated he hasn't heard any complaints from those who will be affected.
"The ones who are doing a lot of building (in the township), they know about it and I think they understand why we had to do it," he said. "It's like everything else in life – the cost always goes up, it never goes down. It's the cost of doing business."
Prior to this increase, the township's building fees had remained unchanged since May 2005.
As a result, they were no longer covering the building department's operating costs and the taxpayers were picking up the slack.
"The building department couldn't continue operating in the red and we couldn't keep asking the taxpayers to cover the losses," Dunn said. "We did what we had to do to balance things out. We're just trying to pay the bills and be fair."
Under the new fee schedule, a 1,000-square-foot residential addition or remodel with a construction value of $75,000 has increased from $525 for building, plumbing, mechanical and electrical permits to a total of $1,482, which includes permits plus plan review fees.
Township fees for building a 2,500-square-foot house with a construction value of $230,000 have nearly doubled. The cost has increased from $1,180 to $2,240.
Commercial projects will be subject to the largest increase in building fees.
For instance, an 18,000-square-foot commercial project with a construction value of $4.5 million will experience a $20,462 increase in fees. They'll go from $4,200 to $24,662.
Dunn doesn't believe the new building fees will slow the pace of development.
"We didn't price ourselves out of the market," he said. "We're still charging less than what some other communities are; in some cases, a lot less."
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.