Hillsborough Construction Fees May Rise 10%
Enforcement of stricter state codes places greater burden on town's building department.
Construction and inspection fees will rise to cover the cost of increased work needed to follow changes in the state codes.
The Township Committee introduced an ordinance last week to change the fees that may be hiked 10 percent.
The fee increase was prompted by 2009 changes by the state Department of Community Affairs that “increased the work to be done by the township,” Mayor Carl Suraci said.
For example, township Construction Official John Fiedler told the Township Committee, the state’s “more stringent” energy conservation standards is one of the reason’s why the state guidelines have had “a negative impact on time in the office.”
Another example, Fiedler said, was new state standards on wind bracing, the measures that have to be undertaken to protect a structure’s frame in excessive winds.
Even state regulations on small signs have increased, Fiedler said.
The increased time to perform inspections and enforce the stricter regulations has led to higher expenses for the township. Because the Building Department is self-funded, the fees had to be increased to cover the increased costs.
“It is not fair to expect taxpayers to subsidize these new requirements,” Suraci said.
”It’s something we don’t want to do, but something we have to do,” Committeeman Frank Delcore said.