County increases engineering fees

  Developers will soon be paying fees for services that previously were rendered for free or at a lower cost.

  The Plumas County Board of Supervisors voted March 5 to adopt a schedule of engineering fees for the public works department.

  “The good old days of providing services for free are over,” said Public Works Director Bob Perreault during an interview following the board meeting. “The board indicated that they wanted us to collect fees.”

  Perreault used Dollar General, a national retailer potentially moving into the area, as a recent example of a business that the engineering department assisted at virtually no cost. Such services as circulation and traffic studies were previously administered for free.

  But after meticulously calculating the cost of providing such services, including labor and service and supply costs, everything now has a fee. And fees that already existed were increased using this new methodology.

  For example, engineering for obtaining a campground permit was previously free, now it costs $143.

  Consulting services were previously free and now they will be billed at $71.50 per hour.

  A lot line adjustment previously cost $75; the new fee is $574.20.

  A mine permit went from free to $71.50 and a planned development permit is no longer free, it’s $214.50.

  That is just a sample of the fees that will be charged for engineering services.

  During the March 5 presentation, Supervisor Lori Simpson asked about reaction from developers.

  “I had two phone calls,” said Jim Graham, the county employee who worked on the new fee schedule. He said that after responding to their concerns, he heard no other complaints.

  County Counsel Craig Settlemire reminded the board that fees collected could only reflect the actual costs of providing the services.

  The board had also been scheduled to discuss increasing the fee to stay at the Taylorsville Campground from $14 to $20, but Supervisor Kevin Goss, who represents the Indian Valley area, asked that the discussion be delayed until March 12. Goss wants more detail about how the new fee was determined.

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