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City of Minot to raise building permit fees

Jill Schramm/MDN A house is under construction in southeast Minot Monday. Building permit fees for new residences will be going up in January.

Building permit fees in Minot will be going up in January.

The Minot City Council voted Monday to adjust fees to better cover operational costs of the building inspection department. Residential building permit fees haven’t changed since 1994.

“These residential building permit fees have not been increased over 25 years. Goodness knows that our costs are increasing,” council member Stephan Podrygula said. “So I think this is a classic example of deferred maintenance, in a sense – deferred maintenance in the sense of maintaining the city’s financial stability. For 25 years, we’ve been offering services for much less than they cost to deliver, and I think that has to stop.”

The new residential changes to cost evaluations per square foot are as follows: main floor, $63, up from $42; second floor and finished basement, $41, up from $28; foundation, unfinished basement and detached garage, $18, up from $12; attached garage, $27, up from $18; and deck, $14, up from $9. The building permit fee is calculated on those computed values at the rate of $5 per $1,000 of valuation, which does not change from the current rate. The minimum permit fee increases from $50 to $75.

With the changes, the residential permit fee for a 1,270-square-foot house with attached garage, costing $275,000 to build, is estimated to increase from $387 to $580. That remains lower than costs in the state’s seven other largest cities, although it comes closer in line. Current fees other cities, estimated on the same sized or priced house, are Bismarck, $725; West Fargo, $622; Jamestown, $590; Grand Forks, $988; Fargo, $640; Williston, $1,250; and Dickinson, $1,268.

The council also approved new permit fee costs for mechanical and plumbing permits. New fees of $50 will be created for sprinkler systems and for new construction. The fee to replace a water heater increases from $35 to $50, and the fee per residential fixture increases from $6 to $8. The minimum permit fee increases from $30 to $50.

As a result of action by the North Dakota Legislature prohibiting cities from charging higher fees in their extra-territorial areas, Minot has equalized its fees. The city’s review of its building permit fees came from a need to recover that lost income and to address the current subsidizing of the building department with property taxes.

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