Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 17
 
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
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Borough Looking to Increase Inspection Fees

Linda Arntzenius

Princeton Borough Council met last night (after Town Topics press time) to approve, among other agenda items, a new ordinance relating to fire safety permits and increases in the costs of fire safety inspection fees.

In most cases the fees will double from the current rate, reflecting the fact that “there has been no increase since 1994,” said Borough Adminstrator Robert W. Bruschi.

Owners of industrial, commercial, educational, and professional service businesses can anticipate the following increases. For inspections of properties under 500 square feet, the fee will rise from $50 to $100. For properties between 500 and 999 square feet, the fee will rise from $75 to $125. For properties between 1,000 square feet and 4,999 square feet, the fee will go up from $150 to $275. For properties between 5,000 and 9,999, the fee will rise from $250 to $350. For 10,000 square feet and over, the fee will now be $750 (formerly $500).

Owners of multi-family dwellings, rooming and boarding houses, and dormitories face a doubling of inspection costs per unit. The cost for an inspection of a property with between two and five units will now be $30 per unit; six to 19 units will cost $40 per unit; 20 units or more will be $50 per unit.

The new rates are expected to take place immediately.

The Borough is also introducing new fees for the issuance of Fire Safety Permits, ranging from $100 to $600.

In his April 11 memorandum proposing the establishment of Fire Safety Permit fees and increases in the inspection fees, Fire Official William S. Drake described the current inspection fees as no longer reflective of the cost to the Borough. “While I would not characterize the increases as moderate, I believe that the fees more closely represent the cost to the Borough of providing these inspections. Together, I believe that the end result of these increases will be additional revenue of approximately $81,000.”

In addition, last night’s agenda included a proposal to increase its fee schedule for new construction, renovation, alterations, and repairs.

Agenda items were set to follow the Council’s closed session negotiations with Nassau HKT Urban Renewal Associates, LLC, the developer working on the Borough’s downtown redevelopment project of a mixed-use residential and commercial building facing the municipal garage on a lot bordered by Tulane and Spring Streets.

“These talks are entering the final stretch,” said Mr. Bruschi. “We’re just ironing out some fine details.”

Fuller coverage of the meeting will be included in next week’s Town Topics.

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