NORWICH – Paying out $40 each time a Chenango County Code Enforcement officer is asked to conduct fire and building inspections or enforce codes is proving to be too much for municipal governments.
Public Health Director Marcas Flindt told members of the Safety & Rules Committee last week that he will be forced to cut staff if more towns don’t start utilizing the county’s codes department. Chargeback revenues for the year are so far only 1 percent, or $300, of the $30,000 in revenues that were budgeted.
Permit fees, not taxes, have traditionally covered the department’s personnel and operating expenses since 2000, mostly with hefty fees paid out by the construction of the Wal-Mart Superstore and Lowe’s, both in the Town of Norwich. However, lacking any big development projects in the foreseeable future and finding the department in the red by $100,000 last year, lawmakers voted to make codes part of the general levy. After considerable debate, they also instituted a chargeback policy for towns.