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New fees slated for project reviews

November 26, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

Hagerstown businesses and nonprofit groups will pay new fees starting Monday to have construction or renovation plans reviewed by the Hagerstown Fire Marshal's Office.

The reviews will determine whether the projects comply with the fire code.

City officials approved the new fees this fall to generate revenue and help the city get through tight budget years in the future.

The law creating the new fees became effective today, but with city offices closed for the holiday the fees will actually kick in on Monday, said Fire Chief Gary Hawbaker.

The fees already are being charged by the state fire marshal's office, which is responsible for Washington County reviews and inspections outside Hagerstown city limits, fire officials said.

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In Hagerstown, the city fire marshal's office must review and approve construction and renovation plans, but had charged only for reviewing plans.

The fee for reviewing plans for building permit applicants will go up from 15 percent to 20 percent of the building permit application fee.

The new fees and rates are expected to generate about $8,000 a year, city officials said.

The new user fees are:




* Reinspection fees for use and occupancy permits at $50 per reinspection.

Sometimes when fire inspectors are called to make the final inspection, the work isn't done, requiring repeat inspections, Hawbaker said.

- Fire protection system review fees. This could include charging fees for reviewing fire sprinkler systems, smoke control systems, gaseous and chemical extinguishing systems, and fire alarm and detection systems.

The first reinspection would cost $50, the second would cost $100 and every reinspection after would cost $200.

- Technical assistance fees, which the department proposes be set at $45 per hour. Those fees would apply when developers ask a fire marshal to review fire code requirements for a specific project before the building permit is issued.

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