Kosciusko County Commissioners approve increase in planning department filing fees

(Carli Luca / News Now Warsaw)

Filing fees through the county’s planning department will increase effective Sept. 14 after the county commissioners approved an ordinance amendment Tuesday morning.

Permit fees were not changed as the county is looking at software to put those applications online and the cost is yet unknown.

Assistant Planner Matt Sandy presented the amendment to the commissioners, which was recommended by the Kosciusko County Area Plan Commission by a vote of 6-1 at its June 5 meeting. It included the increase in the filing fees and the permit fees. County Surveyor Mike Kissinger was the sole vote against it as he felt it was premature to look at permit fees at this point.

Sandy said the last couple of months the Area Plan has been “kicking around” its fee schedule.

“What got the discussion going was, in looking at our advertising, all of our public hearings do have to be properly advertised in the newspaper. Part of that filing fee for those hearings goes toward paying for those ads. In looking at our ads over the last six months or so, we noticed we were not covering those fees any longer,” Sandy said.

The last time the ordinance was amended was in 2000.

At the same time, the Plan Commission wanted the planning department to consider or look at writing into the amendment a potential permit fee.

“We put together an amendment looking at all permit fees for construction, looking at raising our filing fees for variances through rezonings, our subdivision and mobile home. Those are the different ordinances that have fees associated with those,” Sandy said.

He said the department is looking at redoing its permitting system down the road, which would include an online application.

Commissioner Brad Jackson said he wanted to hold off on the permit fees until the county sees how much it will cost to put that online.

“We definitely need to cover our costs for that. We need to identify the costs since we’re so close,” he said.

Jackson also expressed some concern with some of the fees going from $75 to $300, but said if that covered the county’s costs and not excessively over, he was OK with that. He made the motion to approve the ordinance amendment regarding filing fees effective Sept. 14, but not permit fees.