For the first time in a decade, fees associated with new construction in Delaware County will increase.
Delaware County commissioners last week voted 2-0 to approve a measure that will increase code compliance fees by 8 percent this year and another 10 percent in 2017.
The fee increase would cover inspection services provided to both residential and commercial developments.
The fee increases are designed to close the gap between revenues and expenses in the department, which has been operating at a deficit since 2005, the last year in which fees were increased. Since then, the department has been subsidized through the county’s general fund.
“The main goal is to bring these more in line with the actual cost of inspection,” said Tim Hansley, the county’s administrator.
The department operated with a deficit of $232,000 last year. The operating deficit this year is expected to exceed $300,000. Even with the proposed increase of 18 percent in fees through 2017, the department would still operate with a deficit of $95,000, based on projections.
“It’s always difficult to raise something, but the reality is that the cost of doing business goes up,” said Commissioner Gary Merrell.
The fee increases were reviewed by the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio, which approved of the changes.
Two proposals to increase fees, in 2007 and 2009, were not considered.
County officials plan to re-evaluate the fees again in 2018.
Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.