Monday, December 18, 2006

Fee Increase Up Again

An ordinance increasing building code fees is on the City Council agenda for Monday (Dec. 18, 2006). The fees cover new construction, plumbing, electrical and fire prevention fixtures and demolishing or moving a building. Fees for plan review and training are also included. If moved to the agenda for Wednesday’s regular meeting, the ordinance will be up for a public hearing and final passage.

This ordinance and another one increasing certificate of compliance inspection fees drew complaints from real estate agents and property owners every time they were brought forward, starting in the summer. The council has backed off the certificate of compliance fees, which reflected increases as high as 350 percent. But the administration said the building sub-code fees must be put in place to make enforcement of the state Uniform Construction Code self-sufficient, as mandated by the Department of Community Affairs.

The agenda session is 7:30 p.m. in City Hall Library.

Other items that may be discussed are:

-Re-naming a street in honor of former Mayor Richard L. Taylor.

-Amendments to the Fiscal Year 2007 budget. The council may hold a budget meeting Dec. 27, along with a special agenda-fixing session for the Jan. 8 annual reorganization.

-All-day liquor sales on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, both of which fall on Sundays this year. Stores would open at 9 a.m. instead of 1 p.m. if the council grants permission.

-Sixty-day extensions of conditional designation for two developers, AST Development Corp. for the Marino’s tract and Landmark Developers for the North Avenue tract by the main train station.

The public may pick up agendas Monday afternoon in the City Clerk’s office or at the meeting itself. City Clerk Laddie Wyatt and Council President Rayland Van Blake decide what gets on the agenda, not the clerk and the city administrator as previously reported.

--Bernice Paglia


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