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Providence Journal: Warwick Mayor Avedisian proposes lowering permit fees to help growth in city, settle lawsuit

By ALISHA A. PINA
, Journal Staff Writer

 

WARWICK, R.I. — Mayor Scott Avedisian and others have proposed reducing building permit fees to fuel the city’s economy, create jobs and settle a lawsuit previously filed by the Rhode Island Builders Association.

 

The association’s 2010 lawsuit said the permit fees charged in “several Rhode Island communities were not tied to the cost of providing building plan review and inspection services,” the city’s news release said. Avedisian appointed a committee to review the building structure as a result, and had a series of meetings with the association.

 

“My administration is dedicated to fueling our economy and creating jobs,” Avedisian said in the news release. “By reducing building permit fees, we are providing another economic development tool to encourage business growth throughout City Centre Warwick and our community. This measure will set the foundation for our continued success in attracting investment in Warwick.”

 

The news release emphasized the proposed fee structure, which the City Council plans to vet in April, will not “adversely impact budgeted permit revenues.” If approved, it decreases the permit amount charged for residential and commercial construction work that is valued at more than $45,000. The greater the value of work being done, the bigger the discount.

 

The current fee for work valued at $100,000, for example, is $780. The proposed fee is $5 less, or $775. Yet the current fee for work valued at $250,000 is $1,980. The proposed fee is $230 less, or $1,750.

 

The fee for applications filed late, however, increases from $150 to $250 for the first offense, and $500 for the second offense.

 

Said John V. Marcantonio, the association’s executive director, “The mayor and his appointments to this special committee worked openly and cooperatively with us, and as a result, we as a group were able to find mutual areas of agreement, and from that, we were able to create a new fee structure that we both feel will benefit the city of Warwick economically.”

 

apina@providencejournal.com

(401) 277-7465

On Twitter: @AlishaPina