Charlottesville Fire Marshal May Start Charging Fees
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Charlottesville Fire Department (CFD) may start charging for certain permit and inspection fees. A statewide, fire prevention code has always given CFD the authority to so, but the department has opted out until now.
Currently, individuals and businesses don't pay for things like event permits, annual inspections, and site reviews for new businesses or properties.
But, now the workload is extra heavy for the Fire Marshal’s office. Between old structures developing issues and newer, complex buildings popping up, the fire department wants to start charging for repeat inspections.
"On the initial inspection, we'll go out. If we find violation, we'll show the property owners what the violation is, why it's a violation, explain to them how to correct it. We'll come back for a follow up visit - depending on what the violation is - anywhere from five to 30 days. In that time frame, if nothing has been corrected that we found on initial inspection, that's when they could start facing fees," said Jonathon Williams, assistant fire marshal.
Williams, says putting fee in place for repeat offenders is a way to ensure people make changes to avoid potential fires. The fees range from $100 to more than $600.
The ordinance was put in front of Charlottesville City Council Monday, March 4, and is now added to the consent agenda for final approval at the next meeting. If given the go ahead, this means the initial inspection will still remain free.
This is set to be voted on at the next Charlottesville City Council meeting.