Fees that Warrenton charges for building permits and plan reviews are going up for the first time in almost a decade.
The changes the City Commission unanimously approved at its meeting Tuesday will increase the combined cost for a permit and plan review for the average house built in Warrenton by about $57.
“Really what we’re presenting here is a cost-of-living increase that is typically done once a year,” Warrenton Building Official Chuck Goodwin said. He pointed out that the fees have not been adjusted since 2008, even while residential and commercial developments have boomed.
The adjustments bring the city’s building department back in line with recommendations and guidelines established by the Oregon State Building Codes Division. The increases mean the city will be collecting “the appropriate amount of tax revenue.” The increases could also help the building department better provide services “as the demands from the construction community continue to grow,” according to a city memo.
“So what we’re trying to do is just get back online with Salem and their suggested costs,” Goodwin said.
The fees vary depending on the size and scope of the building. Future adjustments to these fees will not be as large, City Manager Linda Engbretson said.
“Again, this represents nine years of not adding to it,” Goodwin said.
City Commissioner Mark Baldwin, a general contractor who runs his own construction company, was in favor of the fee increases, saying, “We definitely need to.”
In other business:
• The commission held a first reading of an ordinance that requires voter approval before the city can transfer or dispose of assets — such as property or services — with a value of $100,000 or more. The value is based on 2014 dollars and the ordinance outlines a 3 percent annual adjustment. This amendment to the city charter was first passed by voters last year; the city and commissioners have worked with the chief petitioners on the wording of the ordinance in several meetings since.
• Commissioners finalized two agreements related to Pacific Coast Seafood’s rebuild of its Warrenton seafood processing facility that they had deferred at their last meeting. These agreements enable the city to distribute a $150,000 grant from Oregon Business Development Department to Pacific Coast Seafood.
• The commission approved a contract for $29,690 with Firebird Bronze, the foundry that will do the mold and casting of a planned Veterans of Foreign Wars memorial. The project is being paid for by a grant from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
• The commission approved a contract with TMG Services for the purchase and installation of a sodium hypochlorite system for Warrenton’s Water Treatment Facility. At $101,603, TMG came in with the lowest bid. A bid from another company came in only a few hundred dollars higher, but Bob Bingham, water treatment plant superintendent, said even if the bids had come in at the same price, he would have chosen TMG. He told the commissioners he believed TMG would provide the best product.