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Square Feet, No Estimate

FARMVILLE – Where building permit fees are concerned, the Town of Farmville plans to put its best square footage forward.

A public hearing will be scheduled in conjunction with July's Town Council meeting on a new fee schedule based on square footage rather than a percentage of the estimated cost of construction or renovation.

The change in building permit fees is expected to generate additional revenue for the Town-a March and April comparison endorsed the expectation-and the change was recommended by Council's Finance and Ordinance Committee.

Nor is that the only proposed amendment. Some other fees have increased and the Town is no longer proposing to pay the state's two percent tax, which would be added to all building permit fees, under the proposal.

Town Manager Gerald Spates told Council this month that the square footage-based fees will “make it a whole lot easier to administer.”

The Town's Building Inspector Phillip Moore said Wednesday that the new fee structure “will be more consistent” and will bring the Town of Farmville “in line with other localities.”

The new residential single-family dwelling fee structure calls for a $75 base fee (up from the current $25) plus 20 cents per square foot of the total footprint. Structural renovations would also see the $75 base fee and 20 cents per square foot of the total renovated space.

For non-structural renovations that do not involve adding, removing or changing any structural member of the building, mobile and modular homes would be charged the $75 base fee and 15 cents per square foot, with a $75 base fee each for separate plumbing, electric or HVAC, while garages and additions would see a $50 base fee and 15 cents per square foot. Porches, sheds and decks would be charged 15 cents per square foot, or a $50 minimum.

In-ground swimming pools would be charged $125 and above ground pools $75.

In the commercial category, new construction and structural renovations would see a $150 base fee plus 25 cents per square foot. Separate plumbing, electric and HVAC would be $150 each, while a commercial accessory structure would be charged a $150 base fee and 25 cents per square foot.

In the Other Inspections category, electric upgrades or change in service would be charged $75, a re-inspection fee would be set at $30 after the second failure, signs would cost $75, moving a building or structure would cost $150 and the plan review is increasing to $200.

A certificate of occupancy for an existing building -amending or transferring a permit would cost $50.

The Commonwealth of Virginia imposes a two percent levy, which the Town of Farmville has been paying, and this would be added to the cost of the building permit fees, the Town no longer paying if the proposed changes are adopted, as expected.