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Building permit fees go up, keeping pace with nearby towns.

Byline: Steven H. Foskett Jr.

DOUGLAS - Building permits are about to get more expensive.

The cost of a building permit for a new house in town has been a bargain compared to other towns. According to Building Inspector Adelle Reynolds, a building permit for a 3,157-square-foot new home valued at $280,000 would currently cost around $564. A building permit for the same size house in Uxbridge would cost nearly $2,000.

Ms. Reynolds met with the Board of Selectmen this week to seek authorization to more closely align the town's building fees with surrounding towns. She said the new fee structure, which adheres to the International Code Council, would also increase the percentage of the Building Department's budget covered by fees.

According to Ms. Reynolds, the department had a budget of about $109,000 for fiscal 2006 and took in around $78,000 in fees, or around 72 percent of the budget. In fiscal 2007, the budget was around $114,000, and the fees have totaled about $36,000 in revenue with one quarter to go in the fiscal year. The fiscal 2008 budget is around $126,000.

Ms. Reynolds said the new fees will put the revenue within 75 percent to 80 percent of the budget. The $564 building permit for a 3,157-square-foot house would jump to $1,922.


area towns use the same International Code Council formula to determine fees, Ms. Reynolds said.

Selectmen approved the new fee structure, effective July 1. Selectman Mitchell Cohen said he supported the new fees, but said he was concerned that people applying for building permits would get caught off-guard.

"That's a huge jump in one shot," Mr. Cohen said.

Ms. Reynolds said she has been warning people who ask about building permits that the fees would be going up. Selectman John Bombara said builders would simply pass on the increased costs to new homebuyers, and that the increase wouldn't affect a new homeowner all that much.

Ms. Reynolds added that the new fees would only apply to large-scale construction such as building a new home or a major addition. Minimum fees for items such as fences and decks would remain unchanged, she said.

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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jun 22, 2007
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