Baxter Estates adjusts village’s building fees

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Baxter Estates Board of Trustees discussed revising their building fees at a past meeting (Photo by Jessica Parks)

The Baxter Estates Board of Trustees approved adjustments to village fees for building permits at last Thursday’s meeting.

At the village’s December meeting, Trustee Douglas Baldwin said residents have raised concerns over high fees for small projects, so he has worked to implement a fee schedule that would consider the size of projects while generating a comparable revenue.

After the village ran both the current and revised fee schedules concurrently, Baldwin said last Thursday he determined that both schedules generated a similar revenue.

Under the new schedule, he said fees for air-conditioning projects went down about 10 percent, while oil-to-gas conversion fees rose by about 15 percent.

Homeowners will pay a $300 permit fee when constructing pools or sheds less than 200 sq. feet or when replacing a driveway or sidewalk. A $500 permit fee will be imposed for reroofing and re-siding projects, an oil-to-gas conversion that includes a new boiler or the addition of an emergency generator.

There is a $1,000 permit fee for finishing a cellar, a $100 fee for installing solar panels and a $50 fee for pool inspections.

The village will impose a calculated fee for the following projects: new or expanded driveways, sidewalks, patios, decks and pools that are larger than 200 sq. feet will be charged $1 per sq. foot;  a small room renovation of less than 1,000 sq. feet will be charged a permit fee of $2 per sq. foot; and new construction, additions and renovations will have a calculated value of $2 per sq. foot for the first 1,000 sq. feet and then $3 per sq. foot thereafter.

A restructuring of fees for window replacements was not approved at the meeting and will be further discussed by village officials.

The village also requires applicants to pay a $200 application fee and a $100 certificate of completion fee on top of their assessed permit fee.

The new fee schedule is to go into effect July 16, the day after the village’s amnesty program on open building permits ends.

The Baxter Estates board implemented a 180-day amnesty program in January in which residents with open building permits can pay their original outstanding fee without the $200 application fee that is added each year the permit remains open.

In a past interview, Trustee Chris Ficalora said that some open permits in the village amounted to more than $15,000.

Village Clerk Chrissy Kiernan said that at the beginning of the amnesty program, there were 103 open building permits in the village and as of last Thursday’s meeting only 30 open permits remain.

Kiernan said that only six open permit holders have failed to make any contact with the village.     

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