Hammond City Council approves building permit increases, sets exam fee

2013-04-04T11:32:00Z Hammond City Council approves building permit increases, sets exam feeChelsea Schneider Kirk chelsea.schneider@nwi.com, (219) 933-3241 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | While costs for building permits will increase, the Hammond City Council has raised the threshold that a project must meet before residents are required to obtain a permit before doing work.

The city will now require permits for $500 or more worth of work, up from the former $300 minimum cost. The cost for the permit will raise to $50, which is a $20 increase, according to Building Commissioner Kurt Koch.

He said the new fees will more accurately reflect costs to have an inspector go out.

“When a homeowner wants to get a permit for doing repairs or alterations on their home, we didn't want them to have to go through excessive red tape, so we raised that threshold,” Koch said. “The net will be a decrease in what the average homeowner has to pay for permits.”

The series of ordinances approved by the City Council on Monday also sets an exam fee for electrical, HVAC and building contractors licenses at $100. The exam fee was instituted after contractors would set a time for the exam and not show up, Koch said. The annual fee for a building contractors and HVAC license also will increase to $200 under the ordinances.

Councilman Bill Emerson, D-4th, said the changes were necessary to update the fees to current times.

“Some of these were passed back in the 70s. A lot of us had VCRs, gas was 80 cents a gallon. ... There's a lot of rebuilding and rehabbing going on, and we owe it to the city to come into tune with 2013,” Emerson said.

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