Supervisors stall on a building fee increase |

Supervisors stall on a building fee increase

William Ferchland

After more than three hours of discussion a resolution was not reached on how El Dorado County will shoulder a building downturn.

At a board of supervisors meeting in Placerville last week the issue took center stage. Supervisors were introduced with a plan to raise building fees by 35 percent during a meeting May 22.

The board voted down the proposal and directed Greg Fuz, the development service building director, to implement a plan to streamline the department’s permit process with layoffs.

Supervisor Norma Santiago, who represents the South Shore region, said Fuz’s plan presented to the board June 5 was inadequate. She said she was particularly disappointed all of the 19 proposed staff cuts were those on the line, not managers.

“What he presented to us was not satisfactory,” Santiago said.

Fuz could not be reached for comment Monday.

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More information was needed, including the financial impacts of the layoffs, and Fuz was instructed to return to the June 19 meeting with a better plan, Santiago said.

“What I don’t want to do is initiate a plan, initiate a strategy where in six months we have to backtrack,” she said.

A fee increase could eventually be approved, but the supervisors appear adamant not to reach that level. Building activity in the county has experienced a decrease, especially on the West Slope. The 35 percent increase would have meant an additional $500 to $20,000 depending on the size of the project.

On El Dorado County land at Tahoe, 43 projects are ready to be permitted, Santiago said.

The building downturn is the cause for the deficit in the county’s building department. One of the cost-cutting possibilities is closing the Tahoe satellite office of the building department.