Livingston County’s Building Department is looking to lower its permit fees and eliminate a certain permit altogether.

The county’s Public Safety & Infrastructure and Development Committee discussed the building department’s proposed resolution Monday night. The department wants to reduce the multiplier used to calculate permit fees by 25% and lower the majority of their fixture-based fees. In addition to those adjustments, the department wants to do away with direct window replacement permits.

Building official Jim Rowell says the department’s permit fees must have a reasonable relation to the cost of their services, which is a moving target because it’s based on activity. Now that the department is seeing an increase in permit activity and inspections, as well as operating at a higher efficiency, Rowell says fees need to drop to reflect that.

Because Livingston County has its own building department, its fees are already lower than neighboring regions. Rowell says municipalities in some counties each have their own department, naming Oakland and Wayne as examples.

The county subcommittee approved the building department’s resolution for fee reduction and adjustments, pushing it forward to the county’s finance committee. Assuming the resolution receives approval from that committee and the Board of Commissioners, the new fees will take effect October 17th. Rowell says they would be re-evaluated based on activity in 2021. (DK)