Millville council doubles permit fees for scofflaws

Date Published: 
Jan. 25, 2018

The Millville Town Council voted 4-0 on Tuesday, Jan. 23, to double building permit fees for anyone who does not obtain the proper permit prior to starting construction.

The council had revisited its fee schedule due to numerous situations in which residents were applying for one thing and building another, as well as simply not obtaining a permit at all. The change, according to Town Manager Debbie Botchie, is an attempt “to make the punishment fit the crime,” in hopes that residents will abide by permitting regulations. (Council Member Valerie Faden was absent from the meeting.)

The council also voted 4-0 to commission artist John Donato for a mural, either in the town hall or in the community building that will be constructed in the new town park. The exact project has yet to be specified.

“I think what the council wants to do at this point is to discuss at what level they want” to proceed, Botchie said.

A committee consisting of Mayor Robert Gordon and Council Member Susan Brewer will meet with Donato to come up with a plan for the artwork. The initial proposal Donato gave the Town included options ranging from $4,500 to $5,800, depending on which option they choose and how involved the project is.

The park project had been suggested as a way to involve the community in the actual painting of the mural, and involving students at Lord Baltimore Elementary School. If that level of participation is chosen, $2,500 would be added to the cost.

The location for a potential mural in the town hall has not been decided. Options included the lobby of the new town hall addition or various locations, including the stairway to the second floor and the wall behind the council dais in the town council meeting room.

Gordon said he favored the park location the most, adding that he felt allowing residents to participate in the project would mean “ownership for the whole town” of the project.

The town council on Tuesday also reviewed and approved, 4-0, an amendment to the Town’s 2018-fiscal-year budget, increasing the total budget by $206,365.

In other business, the council voted to tweak its agreement with the Millville Volunteer Fire Company regarding the ambulance subscription service. The change addresses how and when the Town communicates with the fire company regarding how the fire company is spending the funds generated by the service. The new agreement calls for such a meeting to take place three months after the fire company receives the funds.