The City Council of Johnson City met Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 in special session to consider amending the current building fee ordinance 06-015 and adopting the new building fee ordinance 13-001. Councilmembers felt the ordinance looked fine, but asked Stacy Castillo, city secretary, to have the city attorney add a definition for “remodeling”.
Councilmember Pitman quoted part of the ordinance that related to remodels pointing out that the wording “any major plumbing, electrical or mechanical work” was vague and still could be interpreted subjectively by the building inspector. Councilmember Rhonda Stell agreed.
Ms. Castillo noted that the new fee ordinance will not be based on whether the construction is new or a remodel, but rather on the value of the work being done. Since the fee will be value based, a definition for “remodeling” is not necessary. Councilmembers, though, insisted that the definition be added. Bureau Veritas, the company that now does inspections for the city, will have to add the definition to the ordinance.
Ms. Castillo also noted that the new city attorney added a 20% administrative fee to the fee schedule used by Bureau Veritas. This is a normal practice for the municipalities who use Bureau Veritas’ services. Councilmember Mary Salazar made a motion to approve the amended fee ordinance and new fee ordinance with the addition of a definition for “remodel”. The motion was seconded and passed; council adjourned.
The executive session and council workshop that had been scheduled was canceled. The city attorney was ill and unable to make the meeting. The purpose for the executive session was to allow councilmembers to consult with the city attorney regarding the law on municipal operations, administration of city business and the lawful role of city officials. The meeting has been postponed to a date to be determined later.