Cold Spring Board Revises Building Department Fees

 Permits for a variety of applications will rise

By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong 

Unanimously approving new building department fees, Cold Spring Village Board last week adopted a $75 charge for an application for a general building permit, an increase of $25 over the previous fee, and set a three-year charge of $75 (or $25 yearly) for fire inspections ““ the first such charge ever ““ when mandated by New York State law. Largely to spare churches, the mayor and four trustees also decided to charge no fee for annual inspection of buildings with capacities of 100 or more. The actions came as the board met in a  public session Tuesday night (Sept. 6) at which it also revisited its draft Comprehensive Plan and passed a resolution declaring Cold Spring Fire Co. No. 1 to be free of village government supervision. [See: Cold Spring Board Passes Resolution Declaring Fire Company Independence]         In other building department cost changes, board members increased from $50 to $75 the basic fee for applying for a demolition permit, and retained the 30 cents per-square-foot surcharge levied with it. They also raised to $75 each the fees for a wood-burning stove permit and a certificate of occupancy, both of which had been $50 before, and approved graduated fees for permits for swimming pools. A permit for a pool holding less than 5,000 gallons is now $50; a 5,000- to 15,000-gallon-pool permit costs $75, a permit for a pool containing 15,000 to 25,000 gallons costs $100, and the charge for a pool with 25,000 gallons or more is $150.
       The fees offset some costs of running the building department. For years, Trustee J. Ralph Falloon noted, the goal was for operations to be sustained financially by “all the building department fees ““ but actually we didn’t” do that. Department income hasn’t yet covered expenses, he said.
       Nonetheless, he questioned a proposed fee for inspection of places of public assembly that accommodate more than 100 attendees. “That’s the churches,” Falloon said. “Are you going to start charging the churches? Or the Town” of Philipstown? He observed that at least two congregations, Our Lady of Loretto and St. Mary’s Episcopal, would be affected. “I don’t think the church would appreciate a bill.” Mayor Seth Gallagher then proposed they remove the charge and the rest of the board concurred. In making the revisions to some fees, the board retained others, with no increase. Thus, a minimum Zoning Board of Appeals application still costs $50.

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