06/28/17 — City continues to waive permit fees

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City continues to waive permit fees

By Ethan Smith
Published in News on June 28, 2017 7:16 AM

Goldsboro residents needing permits for home repairs related to Hurricane Matthew damage will continue to receive the permits at no cost.

The Goldsboro City Council Monday decided to continue waiving the cost all permit fees, including new construction, if the work is directly related to hurricane recovery efforts.

Building, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, insulation and new construction permits will be provided by the Goldsboro Inspections Department at no cost through June 30, 2018.

Since October when Hurricane Matthew struck the county, leaving widespread building and flood damage, the city has issued an estimated 1,800 permits at no cost, said Allen Anderson Jr., Goldsboro chief building inspector.

"We're still issuing them," Anderson said. "People are still renovating and trying to fix their homes. A lot are flood related, and then you've got some that are storm related."

Newly added to the waiver list are fees for permits related to new construction, following a recent request from a property owner currently building a new home, in the Garden Walk community off Country Day Road.

"I think it's a good idea to extend it, and anyone who wants to build a new house, we should waive it," said Councilman Bevan Foster.

The council decision follows a recent move by the Wayne County Board of Commissioners to waive building and inspection fees, through June 30, 2018, for people recovering from hurricane damages.

"I would think, more than anything, we're trying to help the victims of the hurricane," Anderson said. "The city wanted to lend a helping hand, and it's the right thing to do."

The recovery process continues for many homeowners including 192 who have applied for federal assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation program, commonly called the FEMA buyout. Fifty-four of the homeowners experienced substantial property damage, considered a total loss, Anderson said.

Properties located in the south John Street area continue to have temporary condemnation signs, which can be removed when the houses meet city inspection standards. In late October, about two weeks after Hurricane Matthew, city inspectors temporarily condemned 396 homes and worked with Duke Energy Progress to have electricity disconnected to 310 properties due to hazardous conditions.

Repairs have led to 145 condemnation signs being removed and electricity restored to 157 properties, Anderson said.

"Of the 400 or so that were affected, 157 of those work has been done on them and people are living in them," Anderson said.