Building permit fees to drop

Measure targets high-dollar projects

The Cortez City Council approved lowering the building permit fees of projects of more than $1 million with one future plan meeting this threshold.

The original building permit fee was $5,953.75 for the first $1 million of a project, and an additional $4 for each additional $1,000 or a fraction of that thousand.

The council decreased the $4 after the $1 million to $2, though the city admits there are very few if any projects in Cortez that are valued at more than $1 million with the new Montezuma-Cortez High School currently being the one exception.

"It is very rare for the city to have a project that is valued over $1 million, City Manager Shane Hale said via email prior to the meeting. "The project that highlighted the need to review our fees is the new high school project, as our projected fee charge for plan review and building inspections seemed high to staff."

Hale said the state normally conducts building inspections for schools, although the city is qualified to do this if the school board chose to utilize the city building department.

"So, we currently have zero projects that are valued at more than $1 million, but would like to be considered for the high school," Hale said in the email.

Building and Planning Director Kirstin Sackett said the city would look at the actual costs that were associated with the reviews and inspections.

The fees for structures less than $1 million will remain the same.

For structures valued between $500,000 to $1 million, the fee is $3,453 and $5 for every thousand exceeding that amount. For $1 to $500, the fee is $40.

"We are trying to make sure we are compatible," Sackett said. "We are trying to (clean) up the process. It's just another piece of spurring economic development."

The reason for the decrease, Sackett said, is that the expense needed to review the project could be done for less than the $4 for every extra $1,000 for buildings valued at more than $1 million.

Like Hale, Sackett said there have been few buildings in the city valued at more than $1 million.

"There have not been any in the last few years," she said, and added the city wants to offer its services to the school district for the review of the new high school.