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The Logan County Board of Commissioners continues to refine its proposal to forgive many of the building permit fees the county charges for farm and agriculture-related buildings. The changes were discussed at the July 5 workshop meeting.

County planner Rob Quint, whose office is responsible for assessing fees, issuing permits and inspecting structures as they are built, was on vacation when commissioners came up with the idea for the first time and had new information for the ruling trio.

Under the proposed policy, anyone doing a non-agricultural building or renovation that requires a building permit would have fees waived on the first $250,000 of construction costs. A fee would be due on the portion of construction costs over the $250,000 limit.

For agriculture-related structures, however, all construction costs would be waived.

The commissioners directed county attorney Alan Samber to work on a resolution to that effect, to be put in place for the July 5 meeting.

But Quint, upon returning from vacation, saw some flaws in the commissioners’ proposal. On the one hand, the new policy could not apply to modular homes; these permit fees are dictated by the state. And Quint pointed out that hardly anyone who builds a new home would get a full fee rebate due to soaring building material costs.

“Any new house now costs $400,000,” Quint said. “And the state sets the fees on the modules, and they’re a little lower than what we normally charge.”

After discussion, the board agreed to a three-tier membership fee system:

  • Agricultural buildings (barns, equipment sheds, etc.) and agricultural commercial buildings would be exempt from building permit fees;
  • Non-agricultural, commercial and residential structures would be charged fees based on construction cost over $250,000;
  • Modular building permit fees would continue to be dictated by the state.

The commissioners also decided to end the new policy after two years because they don’t want to impose a policy on future councils if it doesn’t work.