Editor's note: Shaker Heights City Council's first meeting of 2013 is on Jan. 14. Until then, we'll revisit some of the legislation passed at the most recent gathering in December.
Shaker Heights City Council voted to increase fees for contractor registration and building construction permits at its most recent meeting.
As a result of the votes, contractors will pay $125 each year to register with the city, and construction permits will rise for all residential and commercial projects.
Building Commissioner Heinz Akers said the city's contractor licensing fee has not been increased since 2001. Shaker's building permit fees had remained the same since 2005.
The licensing fee increase will bring in an additional $25,025 a year, Akers said. The fee was $100 prior to the council vote. The annual fee entitles a contractor to work as many jobs as or she wishes.
"The $25 increase would be a small amount for a contractor that has, say, 10 to 20 window permits or 30 or 40 driveway jobs in Shaker," Akers said.
By comparison, nearby communities like Beachwood, Solon, Cleveland Heights, University Heights and South Euclid all charge $75 or $100, though many of those charges are levied per trade.
The increase on building construction permits is expected to produce $63,950 per year for the city. There are more than 40 types of construction that require a permit. Fees can be as small as $10 for sign repair or as large as $125 for commercial waterline repair. Some fees are based on square footage or a minimum of $50, but the city admits it rarely goes for that minimum amount in such instances.
The finance and neighborhood revitalization committees approved the increases in December before the city council passage.
Shaker Heights Finance Director Bob Baker said that even with the fee increases, the city will still be about $108,000 short of covering the cost of the services provided by the building department.