The Red Cedar flooded over 300 homes, said the City of Lansing, and the damage caused by the flood demands reconstruction.
On Feb. 22 the Red Cedar River flooded as rain poured down for multiple days, and large amounts of snow melted into the river. The precipitation and snowmelt caused over 10 inches of flooding in neighboring areas of the river.
To help residents, the Meridian Township board has elected to waive the building permit fees for homes largely affected by flood damage. Normally to repair a home, a homeowner needs to pay a series of fees to get their prospected repairs approved. This time, however, with the severity of flooding in Meridian Township, Treasurer Julie Brixie said it was a bigger deal than normal.
“We recognize that this is one of those events that is a natural disaster type event,” Brixie said, “and the flooding was so bad that some people who were impacted didn’t have flood insurance.”
Without flood insurance, repairs can cost a lot of money, and Angela Ryan of the community planning department said a permit is no small fee.
“It’s based on the valuation of the work being done as determined by the homeowner and the contractor,” Ryan said.
Ryan later said mechanical, electrical and plumbing fixtures all cost at least $100 for a permit.
“You have a $50 application fee,” Ryan said. “You select the work you are doing and there are fees for each item, and there’s always a final inspection mandated by the state.”
(Reference below a complete list of Meridian Township building permit fees and expenses.)
Brixie said waiving these fees can save residents meaningful money. She said Meridian Township desired to alleviate the challenges people faced.
“We looked at what could we do and we felt that one of the things we could do was waive the permit fees for flood damage renovation,” Brixie said.
While permit funds typically serve as a revenue generator for the township, the board believed the money saved would mean more to Meridian Township residents.
“It’s not a huge part of our general fund or revenue for our building department,” Brixie said, “but it would probably mean a lot for a family facing these types of renovations. Every little bit would help them.”
Meridian Township supervisor Ronald J. Styka said the board wanted to do what they could to help citizens.
“This board has shown its intent to benefit our citizens as much as possible in various crisis situations,” Styka said. “We’re doing what we can in this circumstance by waiving these fees.”
Though Meridian Township is offering free permits, residents must still fill out their applications to get building work done.
“They still have to come in and apply for their permits because the permitting process is one that’s based in safety and adherence to building codes, Brixie said. “It’s just that we will not issue them a bill for it.”
|Building Permit Fee Schedule – Meridian Township|
|FREE-STANDING SIGNS AND WALL SIGNS|
|For wall signs up to 100 square feet||$125.00|
|For each sq ft or fraction thereof over 100 square feet||$1.00|
|For free-standing signs up to 25 square feet||$125.00|
|For each square feet or fraction thereof over 25 square feet||$1.00|
|For temporary grand opening signs||$75.00|
|For single family home pools||Based valuation of improvement|
|For all other pools||Based valuation of improvement|
|For buildings up to 500 square feet||$100.00|
|For buildings over 500 square feet||$200.00|
|DEMOLITION OF BUILDINGS|
|For dwellings, garages, sheds, swimming pools||$75.00|
|For warehouses, factories, stores and office buildings||$150.00|
|RESIDING OF BUILDINGS||$75.00|
|ROOFING OF BUILDINGS|
|For single family homes and garages||$75.00|
|For all other structures||$100.00|
|FOR WORK STARTED BEFORE PERMIT IS ISSUED||Permit fee + Administrative fee equal to the cost of the original permit fee|
|TEMPORARY OR SEASONAL SALES||$75.00|
|NEW BUSINESS INSPECTION||$75.00|
|BUILDING BOARD OF APPEALS||$75.00|
|The following fees shall be charged for new construction, additions, structural alterations, remodeling & swimming pools|
|For expenditures up to and including $5,000||$75.00|
|For each $1,000 or fraction thereof above $5,000||$10.00|
|The cost per square foot figures are derived from the Building Valuation Data table published by the International Code Council (for estimation purposes only).|
|ONE AND TWO FAMILY DWELLINGS||COST PER SQUARE FOOT|
|Basement Area – Unfinished||$15.00|
|Basement Area – Finished||$34.92|