Northfield Reinstates Permit Fees
(Host) In the weeks after Tropical Storm Irene, some Vermont cities and towns waived all building permit fees for homeowners to help them rebuild from the devastating storm.
After months of trying to make the permit process as painless as possible, Northfield's Select Board has unanimously voted to reinstate its fees.
Michele Braun is Northfield's zoning administrator. She says about 80 percent of the people in Northfield who needed to get permits after Irene have already done so.
(Braun) "In some cases they're still working on pulling together their contractor estimates for the cost of the repairs. In a few cases they may still be waiting for their insurance settlements. But at least I know that they have a plan and they know what they're going to do."
(Host) And Braun says there are about a dozen homeowners who are hoping for FEMA to buy them out.
For that to happen, the town still has to submit its application for a flood mitigation grant, which is due in mid-February.
(Braun) "The FEMA contractors who I just met with last week advised that it may be a year before we learn whether we've received the funds. I hope it's not that long because these people need to move on."
(Host) While the fee waiver in Northfield has ended, the town manager says the Select Board will make exemptions for people who've been working with the Planning Commission throughout the rebuilding process.