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updated: 6/6/2013 2:24 PM

Des Plaines to waive post-disaster permit fees

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  • Des Plaines residents impacted by severe weather like April's floods could get help from the city sooner if aldermen approve a pending measure that would allow for permit fees to be waived immediately upon a disaster declaration from the mayor.

       Des Plaines residents impacted by severe weather like April's floods could get help from the city sooner if aldermen approve a pending measure that would allow for permit fees to be waived immediately upon a disaster declaration from the mayor.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 
 

When severe weather hits, affected Des Plaines residents and businesses shouldn't have to wait for the city to reimburse fees for building permits to complete necessary repairs, 2nd Ward Alderman John Robinson said this week.

"It's a burden paying for the permits and reimbursing it back," said Robinson, calling the process a psychological hardship on residents.

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Robinson Monday asked for aldermen's support to give the city manager the power to waive building permits fees in times of disaster, such as a flood.

"I prefer to have it done immediately once it's declared a disaster," Robinson said. "It shows more good faith and solidarity between the city and the people."

Mayor Matt Bogusz agreed the fee waiver should be automatic once the mayor declares a disaster.

"Why make them pay when they are already paying?" he asked.

A resolution giving City Manager Mike Bartholomew the authority to waive building permit fees will go before the city council for approval on June 17.

Last month, the city council waived permit fees for flood-related repairs to properties affected by the April 18 flooding. Officials estimate more than 2,000 properties were damaged.

Residents are still required to have city building code inspectors review flood-damaged properties and apply for permits before beginning work.

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