Terrebonne Parish residents will soon have more reasons to go ahead with that home-improvement project that might have been on the planning board for some time.
Parish President Gordy Dove announced last week that he plans to do away with most building permit fees for residential projects.
While those fees might be smaller than the cost of the projects themselves, they are a hindrance and an expense.
“This is a bold step, a bold step in the right direction,” Councilman John Navy said. “The common hard worker is going to appreciate this.”
That is well said, and it should turn out to be true.
People who carefully save for projects are often caught surprised when they have to come up with extra money for permits, which generally cost between $25 and $200.
“They’ve already had to pay for a building permit (when the house was built),” Dove said. “They shouldn’t have to pay for it twice.”
It might not prove to be the deciding factor for home owners, but doing away with one group of fees might be an enticement for some. And that is always welcome news.
Dove attributed the parish’s ability to do away with the fees to parting ways with South Central Planning, which had performed permitting for the parish. Now, though, the permitting is done by parish workers, who Dove said can do it more efficiently.
The great thing here, besides making it a bit easier on home owners, is that the parish is placing the focus on the people who use the services it provides. That is a good move that should pay off with better-satisfied people – something the government should be in the business of doing.
Dove said that a host of trade permit fees could be next. He mentioned plumbing, air conditioning and others that could be eliminated as the parish continues to make the permitting more efficient.
The parish’s permits are also getting a tighter focus on customer service. Dove said there is an effort ongoing to get more of the services people need in one place to make it easier for them to do necessary paperwork without trips to multiple offices.
A driving force behind government operations should be on serving the people – who, after all, are footing the bill for all of it.
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