The City of Smithville may soon implement a new schedule of fees and fines for building construction.
The Aldermen adopted the ordinance on first reading Monday, December 1 and are set to pass it on second and final reading during a special meeting on Monday, December 15 at 5:00 p.m.
Under the ordinance, the city may charge fees and fines for building construction, require plan reviews and permitting, and create a mechanism for periodic adjustment of fees.
For the purpose of determining construction costs for obtaining a building permit, a minimum square foot cost shall be established, determined by using the Building valuation Data printed semi-annually in the Building Safety Journal published by the International Code Council.
"This is about new construction. The ICC, the International Code Council produce a building evaluation report twice a year, every six months. On this evaluation report, it's got your types of buildings. For example, an R-3 is a commercial building with one and two family dwellings. What they do is take a national average and say this is what it cost per square foot to build this type of building and based on the type of materials being used to build this building with. That doesn't necessarily mean that's what it's going to cost to build that building. It's just something that is an average for you to charge a permit fee on to make this an asset to the city instead of a liability. You don't want your code's department to be a liability," said City Building Codes Inspector Lionel Williams
"What I am trying to do is plan ahead because someday you are going to need a full time code's officer here instead of going through a contractor (as codes inspector) like I am. This (new ordinance) will help you get into that groove where you've already got things in place. We're already required by the state to do plumbing and mechanical inspections, whether it be residential or commercial and since we're already having to do it, you need to charge a fee for it to be compensated for going out and doing the work," said Williams
"This is a step toward making the city get to where it can actually someday put in place its own code's office and have its own code officials out here working with the (police) chief to make sure the city is well kept and well maintained. Some of the things in there (ordinance) clarifies the fines for failing to do something. You guys have great zoning regulations now but you have no enforcement on it. What this does is attach enforcement even on your zoning regulations. It doesn't need to be abused but it does need to be used from time to time. One day every building in your city will be a code compliant building but it will take several years for that to happen," said Williams.
For Residential/ Commercial Construction fees shall be determined by a Fee Schedule as follows:
For construction with a total valuation of $1,000 or less, no fee would be assessed unless an inspection is required. If required, a fee of $15 per inspection will be charged.
For construction valued at $1,001 to $50,000, a $15 charge will be assessed for the first $1,000 plus $5.00 for each additional $1,000 or fraction thereof, up to and including $50,000.
The fee for construction valued at $50,001 to $100,000 would be $260 for the first $50,000, plus $4.00 for each additional $1,000 or fraction thereof, up to and including $100,000.
For construction valued at $100,001 to $500,000, the fee would be $460 for the first $100,000 plus $3.00 for each additional $1,000 or fraction thereof, up to and including $500,000.
The fee for construction valued at $500,001 and up would be $1,660 for the first $500,000 plus $2.00 for each additional $1,000 or fraction thereof.
For all Non-Residential/Commercial Construction such as storage buildings, fences, decks, and wheelchair ramps, etc. the fees shall be determined by a separate fee schedule. The permit fees will be based on building size in square footage.
For example, for buildings 10,000 square feet or less, the permit fee would be 30 cents per square foot.
When the evaluation of the proposed construction exceeds $1,000 and a plan is required to be submitted, a plan review fee would be required at the time of submitting plans and specification for review equal to one half of the building permit fee as determined from the fee schedules. The Plan Review fee would be in addition to the building permit fee but no such fee would be charged for the review of plans for one and two family dwellings.
The ordinance also establishes permit fees for demolition, moving structures, swimming pool construction, plumbing, mechanical, fire code system, etc.
Penalties would be assessed for those found in violation of the ordinance.
In addition to this ordinance, the aldermen Monday night are scheduled to act on second and final reading on ordinances adopting the 2012 edition of the International Existing Building Code and the 2012 International Fire Code.
If approved the ordinances will take effect January 1.