City waives renovation fees

By Dennis Minich
The Harrisonville Board of Aldermen voted 7-0 Jan. 19 to waive all inspection and permit fees for the Harrisonville R-9
School District’s $15 million renovation project. The vote will save the school district about $45,000.

R-9 Superintendent Paul Mensching told the aldermen he had received the bill and asked for some assistance on the cost.
“That is roughly the cost of a fulltime teacher for us. These are difficult times for us all and we have to come together,”
Mensching said.

He noted the schools had worked to help out citing an example of paying for a nurse for the health department to help
with contact tracing.

Codes Enforcement Director Chris Arthur told the board the fees for a $15 million project would normally run about $90,000, but since the renovations were being done with prevailing wages, he thought about half that amount would work since prevailing wage projects cost 50 to 80 percent more than private construction projects.

“I based my original discounted figures on some various things, most of which I know. The site work will still have to be inspected. There will still be water runoff,” Arthur said.

He told the board the codes department handled a total of about $18 million in construction, so the school’s project would have a significant impact on his staff, but he couldn’t estimate the costs. He said permit fees and inspection costs only cover about 30 percent of the cost of those chores. He also noted he couldn’t project the total cost to the city.

“I just received the blueprints this week so I haven’t even had chance to study them,” Arthur said.

When the aldermen started their discus sion, the notion of charging any fees was quickly dispelled.

Alderman Gary Davidson said, “I am not supporting charging the school district a cent that it doesn’t cost us. If there are third-party fees or something, then there is something to discuss.”

Alderman Mike Zaring concurred.

“Alderman Davidson expressed my thought. As much as we work with the school district, it is only fair,” he said.

Alderman Matt Turner said he was concerned about the impact all of the work could have on city staff.

“I don’t want to place a burden on other projects. I just don’t want them to get swamped and get behind on Aldi’s and
other projects that we might have come in,” Turner said.

Arthur said the department’s budget is set.

“What was budgeted was budgeted for whatever comes through the front door for the entire year,” he said.

The resolution before the board was for $45,000 in fees, but was amended to take the fees out. The final motion said the
project would be reviewed quarterly and if costs come in higher, the city might work with the school district to cover some of
the costs.

Alderman Judy Reece asked, “higher than what?”

The meeting was the first since early December to have a complete board. A vacancy was created in December when David Dickerson resigned. He was replaced at the first meeting in January by Sandy Franklin, but at the same meeting, Clint Miller resigned. Former Mayor Bill Mills was sworn in prior to the school discussion to fulfill the final two years of Miller’s term.

The only other action was the approval of Kim Troby to the park board.


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