Communities look to make things even

Uniformity in fee structures is building momentum, as Tri-Cities-area governments work on ways to collaborate.
Alex Doty
Jun 14, 2013

“Permit fees are another way to start," said Grand Haven Assistant City Manager Sam Janson.

A group of local municipal leaders recently decided to analyze the fees charged by each community for building, electrical, mechanical and plumbing inspection services.

“One of the goals is to establish a consistent value for projects in Northwest Ottawa County,” Janson said.

As it stands, builders and contractors are faced with different forms and costs, depending on the community their project is being done.

“We’re looking to move to a uniform permit,” Janson said. “It is going to be the same permit to make it simple for our contractors to work.”

Officials hope to implement the new fee structure as soon as Aug. 1.

There will be a condition attached to the agreement that the communities must continue to work on methods of collaboration in their building, planning and zoning departments.

Janson said the uniform structure would result in a 1.1 increase in electrical fees and 11 percent hike in mechanical fees, but a decline in building fees. He said the average reduction in building fees would equate to about 10-20 percent.

“Building is a little more difficult to define because it’s an open-ended fee," Janson explained.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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