Oxford to review building application fees

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OXFORD — The town’s building permit application fees for commercial properties are too low, Town Manager Michael Chammings told selectmen Thursday.

Chammings said the ordinance review committee has recommended that selectmen look over the fees, which currently are 10 cents per square foot for residential construction and 5 cents per square foot for commercial construction.

He said that’s not enough to cover the administrative costs, and the costs of multiple site visits to commercial buildings.

“We don’t want to be the highest but we don’t want to be the lowest,” Chammings said, adding that Otisfield and Poland have higher costs.

Oxford Casino paid $2,300 in application fees, he said. The town has lost money on those fees due to later inspections. He said if the casino had been built in Otisfield, the town would have received $17,000 in building permit fees for a structure of its size.

Most large businesses Oxford has dealt with, Chammings said, have found the town’s permit rates surprisingly low. He said the town could remain “cheaper than most” while still covering its costs.

Selectmen voted unanimously to review the fees to find a figure that covers the town’s review and inspection costs.

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