Local residents made it known they did not want to be charged extra fees for installing new hot water heaters in their homes and members of the Warren County Commission listened.
Citizens crowded into a packed courtroom Monday night hoping to deter commissioners from approving a resolution which would allow the county codes enforcer, Nolan Ming, to collect fees on home plumbing and mechanical repairs.
The full County Commission didn’t even allow the proposed fee structure on the docket, voting 19-3 to not consider the measure to enact new permit fees.
“I have gotten more calls on this than anything since I have been on the court,” said Commissioner Wayne Copeland. “This concerns the whole county.”
Local residents became upset about the proposed new fees last week when it was revealed the county was considering charging $75 for a permit for mechanical or plumbing alterations, such as installing a new hot water heater.
For home owners who tried to slip under the radar and start work without a permit, there would be a $50 penalty imposed.
County Executive John Pelham said the proposed fee structure created a wide range of confusion.
“We have even been contacted that we were trying to pass an appliance tax tonight,” said Pelham referring to a Nashville TV station which asked about the proposed fees. “They said we were going to charge people if they were buying a refrigerator or washer and dryer, that they would have to buy a permit. Channel 5 News actually came by here today and interviewed us. Someone called Nashville and told them we were charging an appliance tax, which is not happening at all.”
There were a number of new fees proposed in various committee meetings. Pelham said there is still confusion about some fee schedules, but the fees for plumbing and mechanical repairs would not be taking effect.