Naples may up building permit fees

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — By midsummer, the price of building on a piece of property will go up.

As of July 1, 2012, the town’s fees associated with building and remodeling permits will increase.

The Naples Board of Selectmen Monday decided to build into the fee chart a means for the town to bring in revenue from residential construction activity. The board voted 2-1 to support the fee hike, with Selectman Rick Paraschak opposing it. Selectmen Tom Mayberry and Dana Watson were absent.

“I didn’t want to put too much of an increase so people would be in shock when they come in,” Code Enforcement Officer Boni Rickett said. “It is a gentle increase in the fees.”

Rickett researched the appropriate fee increases using Casco’s Code Enforcement Department as a comparison.

“I am in favor of raising the minimum fee of $5,” Paraschak explained prior to the vote. “I am not in favor of raising the costs of building fees, in some case it is double the cost per square foot. If some young family moved to Naples and got a job here, we don’t want to discourage them from building here.”

He said an increase of 10 cents per square foot could add up to additional costs for even a modest-sized home.

Chairman Christine Powers asked if Paraschak backed the hike when it brought the fees in line with what other towns are charging. She asked him if he would reconsider “when it is compared to other towns’ increases?”

Paraschak anwered, “I was never a fan of comparing us to other towns.”

“Part of Boni’s proposal was that we could pick up some of her costs. Eventually, the cost is going to be picked up by the taxpayers,” he said.

Favoring the fee increase, Selectman Bob Caron Sr. said he supported the idea last time it came up, and still did.

“The cost of doing business is a true statement,” he said.

Several months ago, Rickett appeared before the board, and asked if she could proceed with a fee change chart. Rickett received the nod of the full board at that time.

According to Rickett, “Last year, I took in about $17,000 in building fees; and that would not pay my salary.”

The fees have not been increased for at least 12 years — if not longer, Rickett said.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it has been more than 15 years or even as many as 20 years,” Naples Town Manager Derik Goodine said. “The selectmen back then were hesitant to raise the fees.”

To view a listing of the new fees, go to www.naplesme.govoffice2.com

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