Chelan County is planning to increase some planning and fire safety fees this summer. 

The county Community Development Department is proposing to increase fees for applications to develop land, construct a building or to get a fire inspection. 

Chelan County spokesperson Jill FitzSimmons says a public hearing on the fee increase is being delayed because of a change being made to the fee increase proposal. 

“The commissioners wanted to give the public time to look over those modifications.” FitzSimmons said. “And they will give them an opportunity to speak on them when the meeting is continued.” 

The public hearing on the proposed fee increase is now set for August 6. The original hearing was set for this past Tuesday. 

The fee increases are being proposed after an analysis by county staff. 

Increases in fees have been calculated based on the number of building and land development permits issued in the last four years as well as costs such as administrative supplies, services, salaries and charges.  

Staff presented an analysis of the true cost for services as well as a fee comparison with six other cities and counties. 

The conclusion is that current fees have not kept pace with increases in labor costs and annual Consumer Price Index increases and do not follow a cost-recovery model. 

There’s also a plan to increase the fees every year after a six-year lapse since the last hike. 

FitzSimmons says it’ll make for less of a sticker shock to customers. 

"When you don't update something from 2018, you get these spikes," FitzSimmons said. "And if you update it annually, maybe it'll only go up 50 cents. It's really better for the customer if we're updating this annually than versus six years." 

The Community Development Department is asking commissioners to approve the increase in the applications to develop land later this summer. 

The increases on applications to construct a building will be proposed next year to spread the cost increases to customers.  

In the future, fee updates for all the fees will be performed annually on Feb. 1. 

County Commissioners will ultimatelt decide when and if the fee increases will be implemented.

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