Culver Tables Permit Fee Changes Following Resident Backlash

culver-town-hallSome additional considerations may need to be made by the Culver Town Council regarding proposed changes in their construction permit fees.

The Town has spent weeks developing a new formula that would raise fees for certain projects, less so for residential projects. In part, the changes come as a result of added pressure to compensate Marshall County for the use of their building inspectors.

Culver Town Manager Jonathan Leist says the changes use a Code Council recommendation and a multiplier to calculate the permit costs.

“So it is a little different than the system we’ve used in the past,” says Leist. “There are several counties, cities, and towns in the state of Indiana that use them, but not in Marshall County so it is a little bit of a different setup.”

Reaction to the changes was largely negative during Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting.

Local contractors expressed concerns about the level of the increases. Some residents said the changes were at odds with Culver’s plans to attract affordable housing to the community. Representatives of the Marshall County government said there was only a need to compensate them for their services, not to generate revenue from the product.

Marshall County Building Inspector Chuck DeWitt says the changes are a far cry from previous methods the County and the Town of Culver have discussed.

“To me, it does not make sense to go the direction that you’re going in,” says DeWitt. “It’s not my community, I’ve always told you that. You guys know the community better than I do. If you want to tax rich people then tax rich people, but you guys have a lot of poor citizens in this town.”

Changes to the permit fees were only taken to a public hearing.

Following the number of concerns raised over the changes, the Culver Town Council decided to table further consideration of the ordinance changes until additional research had been completed.