The city of Paducah plans to raise certain permit fees related to its Fire Prevention Division, a move officials say would bring its charges more closely in line with the rest of McCracken County’s.

The Paducah City Commission introduced an ordinance Tuesday to change the rates for building, electrical and demolition permits, occupancy inspections and other miscellaneous work fees. The ordinance is slated for a vote on July 23.

“We haven’t raised any of these fees since about the ’80s, as best we can tell,” Greg Cherry, deputy chief of fire prevention, told city commissioners.

The proposed changes are intended to raise revenue, alleviate confusion and ensure fees are equitable in McCracken County, the ordinance states.

A city committee tasked with studying revenue enhancement found some of the city’s fees didn't match those that are applied outside the city limits, but within McCracken County. The proposed changes will affect only those fees, according to the city’s agenda packet.

The building permit fee for new construction will increase from $20 to $150 in projects valued at $35,000 or less, as determined using building valuation data. The rate for projects exceeding $35,000 will be adjusted roughly $2, on average, for each additional $1,000 of value.

Demolition permits will cost $50 for one- and two-family dwellings, and $100 for all other uses.

The minimum fee for occupancy inspections will increase from $25 to a flat $100 for buildings of any amount of square footage; the cost formerly increased per each additional 2,000 square feet. Additional inspection trips made due to a permittee’s failure to comply with codes and safety standards will cost $25, up from the current amount of $15.

Electrical permit fees will be set at $100 for values less than $23,000, and will increase per $1,000 of value. The ordinance also sets a $60 minimum for miscellaneous permit fees, which are also subject to increase with the projects’ values.

In other business, the commission approved a municipal order authorizing the city to apply for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD, grant. The city is seeking $15.3 million in BUILD funds and will provide a local match of $1.5 million if awarded the grant.

The project would include the construction of a riverport container transfer yard; a riverboat excursion pier and plaza; linkages for bicycles and pedestrians as well as broadband from the Convention Center to the riverfront; and improvements to the landing near the city’s transient boat dock.

The city applied for a BUILD grant last fiscal year, but did not receive the funds.

“If anyone prays … for the federal government, you should pray for that (grant),” Mayor Brandi Harless said.

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