Communities outside of Livingston County could have access to the county Building Department’s services. According to Building Official Jim Rowell, the County Administration has always been in favor of sharing county services and the Livingston County Building Department has been discussing adding communities outside of the county to their Building Department oversight.

Rowell tells WHMI many of those communities use a contract or a part-time building department, which usually results in much higher fees and slow, part-time service. He notes that the county has a full-time 40 hour plan review and inspection staff, in addition to working Saturdays during the construction season. Due to the department’s efficiencies, they have been able to lower their fees three times in four years. Rowell says by adding communities outside of the county, the department will increase their economy of scale; helping to keep fees low and promote development in the region, not just within the county borders.

A resolution authorizing a feasibility study to add additional communities to the Building Department oversight recently came before the County’s Board of Commissioners and was approved. The resolution states that the cost of the services for outside communities will be covered by permit fees generated by construction activity in those respective areas, and will not affect the cost of doing business within the county or add more costs for Livingston County permit holders.

Rowell says the Building Department would like to encourage local communities, including those adjacent to or near to the county, to contact them if they are interested in discussing how Livingston County can help. (DK)