REDMOND, OR -- Redmond’s building division is asking City Councilors approve a 20% increase in building permit fees. Aaron Yuma says rates have not changed in about a decade. "We’ve got a small staff; we are experiencing about three times the rate of growth for activity in permits as we were this time last year with the same staff. And, our fee structure should be built in such a way that the additional activity would automatically bring in the fees that we need to hire additional staff."
But, Yuma tells KBND News that rate is not keeping up. "Typically, we would turn a permit around in about two weeks; and right now, we’re running anywhere from four to five weeks." He says a consultant recently recommended a rate hike, to allow the department to be self-sustaining. "This is what we think we need to do to fund the department in such a way that we can provide the level of service our community expects."
Under the current fee structure, the Building Division budget is supplemented by the city's General Fund. "The hope is that we sort of stop the bleeding, so to speak, with this 20% increase," Says Yuma. "And, we will have further discussions to look at the recommendations from the consultant and see if we want to take steps in the future to bring ourselves more in alignment with most building departments in the area."
A public hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday, to get feedback on the rate hike proposal.