Paris considers — and passes some — changes to town fees

The Paris Town Board considered a number of fees it charges at a Town Board meeting Tuesday evening.

Supervisor Ron Kammerzelt and Clerk/Treasurer Beverly McCumber had researched and proposed some changes to various fees. After discussion, the board passed some, changed some proposed increases back to their current levels and tabled a couple others until next month for final consideration.

Increased were operator licenses (bartender) fees. The new fees will be $25 for a one-year license and $40 for two years. The old fee was $15 for one year and $25 for two years. McCumber said most other area municipalities charge $25 per year.

The fee for rental of town hall also was increased to $50, plus a returnable $100 deposit. The old fee was $40, plus a returnable $100 deposit. Town hall rental is available only to residents. McCumber had proposed an increase to $75 plus a returnable $100 deposit, but supervisors said that was too much of an increase. “It’s everyone’s town hall,” Supervisor Ken Monson said. “I think this is a little steep.”

Charges for title searches were increased to $20 from $10 and lost checks to $35 from $20.

Fee changes were tabled for a month in two other areas — building inspection and home improvement related fees and fire department building burn fees.

Currently the town accepts donations when a resident has a structure burned down. But those donations have not been covering the cost of burning down structures, town officials said.

Supervisor Ron Kammerzelt said he believes that a typical cost to the fire department of burning down a building is about $500, He would like to see a new fee instituted that helps the department recover its costs. A charge of $500 for burning down a building would still be a substantial savings over traditional razing, he contended. Fire Chief Roland Iwen was not present at the meeting and the board decided to wait on taking action until he was available to supply more insight.

The board also tabled a long list of building inspection-home improvement fees. The delay was mostly so that the new ordinance could be constructed to not include the specific fees, but instead reference a schedule of fees contained in a board passed resolution.

Kammerzelt, after researching other municipalities, had proposed increases to many of these fees of about $10. But Monson said he did not want to increase permit fees for home improvement and repair type permits such as fences because many people were already ignoring the permit requirement. “It’s a hard thing to get residents to get permits now,” Monson said. Board members agreed to keep the more home repair type permit fees at $65, but still increase some other fees, such as commercial and new residential building inspection. Monson also advocated dropping the roof permit, but Kammerzelt and Chairman Virgil Gentz said they favored keeping the roofing permit and inspection for safety reasons.

The official vote on the fee schedule is expected next month.


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