To Whom It May Concern:
We want the world to know but especially the patrons of the Eureka Fire Protection District that the leadership of our fire district took a bold step today to do their part to help stimulate the growth of business in our community. They have taken this step alone and with disregard for what others outside of our fire district may say or do.
WHAT DID THEY DO? They slashed commercial building permit fees to do their part to reduce the cost of construction for businesses. WHY DOES THIS MATTER? It matters because businesses must pass their costs along to consumers and ultimately every customer of a business pays the costs of the business. Besides that, it may make the difference in a new business being established or not and/or even locating in our community or elsewhere.
Several years ago our fire district along with most, if not all, other fire districts in our region adopted the fee structure of the International Code Council (ICC) which immediately raised permit fees for commercial and residential construction dramatically and in our case 10 fold or more.
It is truly unfortunate for the consumer because Gov. J. Nixon signed a bill into law that prohibits fire districts from doing residential inspections in areas where cities and counties do building inspections as it is considered duplication. I’m confident this all stemmed from the runaway fee structure of the ICC.
However, where safety is concerned you can’t have too many eyes watching. I was perhaps among the first to vehemently protest the fees being charged by the fire districts for construction permits under the ICC fee structure. I never wanted them to be eliminated from the inspection process. They provided a valuable service to the community which has now been lost for residential construction. I believe our fire district is being farsighted by taking this step.
We lodged a complaint recently with the Eureka Fire Protection District about the fee structure on a commercial building we are currently building in Eureka and we are absolutely blown away by the fire board’s compassion and understanding that excessive taxes and fees in general are overburdening the economy and their willingness to do what was within their power to alleviate the condition.
Our fire district truly deserves kudos from everyone they serve because they are doing their part to help control runaway costs which stifle business growth. Please help validate the Eureka Fire Protection District personnel by letting them know that you appreciate what they do for us to help keep us safe as well as being responsible community minded public servants and then I trust we will all do what we can to support them in their efforts to protect us.
Dale R. Hicks