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Doing the right thing

By Susan Reeves

The Mount Vernon City Council did the right thing during the regular meeting on Tuesday, July 13. Council member Jasper Scott presented a proposal to return the verbiage on building permit fees back to what they were prior to changes made last month.

This basically rescinds the requirement to obtain a permit to replace a like for like heating and air conditioning unit within the city limits of Mount Vernon. If a residence or business adds square footage or adds an additional unit for any reason, a permit and inspection will be required.
The requirement of this permit came into question after the city council opted to formalize an agreement with an outside inspection firm and raised permit rates to cover the full cost of the permit and inspection process. The cost of the permit for replacing a defective unit went from around $20 to $179.
A survey of the seven municipalities surrounding Franklin County indicated that four did not require a permit for this type of replacement.
The other permit fees and requirements mandated by the City of Mount Vernon remain in place. This goes along with City Administrator’s Lee Elliott plan to departmentalize costs and reduce our tax burden. The plan is to have permits and inspection fees cover the entire cost instead of subsidizing the work with property taxes. As well, he wants the water department’s cost completely covered by fees and usage payments.
Kudos to the council for changing this code. They do however, plan to add requirements on the mechanical, electrical, and gas pipe inspections at a later date.



#1 CuriousKay 2011-07-08 23:37
I just think that the people who own more than one property in town are unwilling to want to pay for their own permits. In the past ALL CITY TAX PAYERS were covering the cost, with Lee Elliots policy, the burden falls on the PROPERTY OWNER himself, and as expected they would rather it fall on someone else. I guess now that they have their buddies in "high places", everyone else in town will pick up the bill if they get their way and eventually have the PERMIT POLICY over-turned. Wake up Mt Vernon, THIS IS THE REAL ROBBERY IN BROAD DAYLIGHT!! Before this is all over with, the old system will be put back into place and the cost of the working on these properties will actually be coming out of JOE PUBLICS tax's and not the property owner. Start doing your homework instead of listening to idle gossip.