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Wales hikes cost of building permits

It will cost more to obtain a building permit in Wales, after the Town Board Tuesday voted to raise the fees $20 to cover costs associated with a new state law.

Building Inspector Walter Raichel said the state building code requires new buildings and additions with truss-type, pre-engineered wood or timber construction to display a fixed sign or symbol indicating the construction type.

“This has to do with the fire departments,” Raichel said, “to let them know how it’s been constructed.”

A total of $16 of the fee hike will go toward the state-required stickers that the town will issue. The law went into effect May 22.

Truss foundations may collapse suddenly and without warning when they’ve been weakened by fire.

“In recent years truss constructions have been the cause of many preventable deaths of firefighters,” the law states. “It is imperative that firefighters are notified of the use of truss-type construction so they can take appropriate measures that will protect the lives of residents and ensure their own safety.”

The town authorized spending $414.50 to purchase 30 signs from compliancesign.com, which will be issued with building permits.

Councilman Gerald Klinck noted the town has not raised its building fees in several years and added Wales still has some of the lowest building-permit fees in Western New York.

“People are shocked when they come in here and they learn how much a permit costs,” Raichel said.

Supervisor Rickey Venditti agreed and added the town won’t profit from the hike.

“Compared to other towns, this is a very modest fee,” Venditti said. “And $16 of this is being eaten up by the sticker we have to issue.”

Building application fees for residential units in Wales begin at $200 for structures up to 1,000 square feet and are hiked incrementally for each additional 1,000 square feet, maxing out at $470 for structures between 6,001-7,000 square feet.

Fees for commercial buildings now cost $170 for structures up to 5,000 square feet and $190 for structures up to 10,000 square feet.

There are smaller fees for additions.

In another move, the council authorized Venditti to sign a $7,500 contract with GHD Consulting Services for improvements to Wales Town Park.

Venditti said the contract covers costs associated with the town’s quest to secure a Community Development Block Grant to help pay for upgrades.

Potential enhancements include a quarter-mile path around the park with access spurs to shelters and playgrounds, along with installation of charcoal grills and trees.

In other business the board:

• Agreed to pay the Town of Elma $7,350 to construct a new building in accordance with the Tri-Town Recreation inter-municipal agreement.

• Reappointed John Carlone to the assessment board of review to another five-year term, beginning Oct. 1.

• Authorized spending $1,308 to purchase two fireproof cabinets requested by the town historian.