Mineola permits to cost less with new building fee package

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Building and remodeling houses and commercial buildings in Mineola became less costly last week after the City Council acted on May 31 to lower a bevy of permit fees ranging from gates to grease traps.

As an example, a building permit for constructing a 1,800-square-foot house valued at $130,000 will go from $1,185 to $360. The building permit for a 3,569-square-foot commercial building valued at $600,000 will drop from $3,730 to $892. The new fee schedule, which includes plumbing, electrical, mechanical, demolition, pools and more, went into effect May 31.

“Now it will be a lot cheaper to build a house in Mineola,” Mayor Kevin White said.

The council’s action moves Mineola in line with what nearby communities – Lindale, Winnsboro, Van, Gladewater, Canton, Big Sandy, Wills Point – have done with fee structures, according to City Manager Mercy Rushing.

The primary reason for the lower fees is that the city will now base permit fees on square footage rather than valuation. New state legislation prohibits municipalities from basing fees on valuations. According to a memorandum from City Secretary Cindy Karch, the city’s former fee schedule was complicated and in need of updating anyway, and the new schedule makes Mineola competitive with neighboring communities.

Lowering permit fees will negatively impact the city’s revenue. In 2018, the city collected $42,684 in building permit fees, and it has collected $38,521 so far in 2019, according to the city.

Still, city leaders view the changes as beneficial – making the city more “builder-friendly” for residents and commercial interests alike.

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