North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

July 10, 2013

Kimberly council raises building-permit fees to help pay for street maintenance

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

KIMBERLY — The Kimberly City Council voted in favor of a hike on building permit fees — right after it voted against it.

The council approved in their Tuesday-night regular session an additional flat fee of $1,000 to be added to the existing rate structure, which is based on the number of heated and unheated spaces in a building.

The additional fee is earmarked specifically for a new fund to help maintain the city’s streets, which has been a nagging problem because of developers who fail to complete paving work on new subdivisions.

The council first passed the ordinance as originally drafted, but then after some discussion and concerns expressed by council members Lance Shivers and John Montgomery, voted to rescind that approval and passed a new version with some revisions.

The original draft set up a new fund that would specifically apply the new funds toward maintenance of the streets on which the new buildings were located. That wouldn’t help existing streets that are in need of repair, so a new version was approved that would allow the fees to be directed toward streets and roads throughout the city.

“Even with this, our building permits are still less than they are in [unincorporated areas of] the county,” Ellerbrock said.

In other business, the council voted to install gutters and downspouts on the fire station, and approved the application of a new volunteer firefighter.