Soaring Permit Fee Baffles Homeowner
Powder Springs resident Brian Eckart complained to the City Council about the renewal cost and accused city employees of harassment.
A Powder Springs homeowner had a sometimes-heated confrontation with the City Council on Monday night about the cost of the construction permit for his house.
Brian Eckart said the fee for the original 2008 construction permit was $100, but the latest renewal permit as construction continues was billed at $2,178.
“Nothing has changed,” he said. “That’s why I’m so baffled by it.”
Eckart noted that the weather is turning colder with winter just three months away: “The back of my house is exposed, OK? I need to secure my house. I have half my house built, so no one here would want to live in the condition my family’s living in. … All we want to do is complete our house.”
When Eckart said he was being “harassed” by city employees, Councilman Tom Bevirt interjected: “Let’s not use that word.”
Eckart loudly responded: “Yes, sir, it is harassment. When they sneak into my back yard through a neighbor’s back yard, that’s harassment.”
Community Development Director Pam Conner said she will speak with the solicitor to work toward resolving the issue.
In other business Monday:
- The council approved a revenue-sharing agreement that would allow people to purchase accident reports online for $11.
- The council declared five police vehicles—two 2009 Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria, a 1994 GMC Yukon and a 1990 ambulance—as surplus, but Councilwoman Rosalyn Neal dissented. “I’m not trying to micromanage our new police chief, but on the two motorcycles, the 2009 Harley-Davidsons, I have a problem,” she said, indicating they remain useful. Bevirt said he has “been a fan of the motorcycles for some years.” But he said Police Chief Charlie Sewell believes that the city can get more than the roughly $12,000 each one originally cost.
- The council rejected, 5-0, a claim filed by the residents at 4241 Lewis Rd. that the improvements to Lewis Road have damaged their property.
- The regular Saturday breakfast with the mayor and council Oct. 8 is canceled because of Powder Springs Day.
- Councilwoman Cheryl Sarvis recognized the opening of the new police station and the Sept. 11 flag in the lobby.
- Council members discussed Saturday’s memorial for McEachern football standout Rajaan Bennett, who was killed last year.
- City Manager Rick Eckert thanked city employee Sherman Waldrop for helping set up and tear down at Saturday’s event. “We don’t hear enough good sometimes about our employees,” he said, “but I really wanted to pay a special note of congratulations to Sherman Waldrop.”
- Vaughan Elementary School teacher Christy Garvin was recognized for her educator achievement award.