Local News

4/8/2013

Code violation fines increase

By NIKKI WILEY The Brunswick News

Failing to comply with property codes just got more expensive in the city of Brunswick.

The Brunswick City Commission has approved a revised fine schedule for property maintenance violations and new fees for engineering and building inspection items.

The new schedule gives municipal judges a suggested fine and a minimum fine for violations.

Fines for 14 ordinance violations have increased and many more now have minimum fines.

The smallest minimum fine is $50 for a first offense of not having a right-of-way permit when one is required.

The largest proposed minimum is $500, the fine for a second offense of violating the solid waste ordinance or dumping vehicle tires, refrigerators or other large materials.

The largest increase is a $1,000 fine for the illegal use of a dumpster, which is double what it had been.

Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson says fines are not likely to be imposed the first time an officer notices a problem and warns the violator. Officers take an education first approach, he said.

"(A fine) is used as a last resort," Thompson said.

City Finance Director Kathy Mills says she can't definitively say how much fines provide the city annually. She said they are handled through Brunswick Municipal Court, which lumps all fines collected together, which includes traffic citations.

Engineering and building inspection fees now range from $125 for abandonment and annexation petitions to $250 for a civil site plan review, hydrology reporter review and subdivision petition. These fees previously did not exist.

City officials say the fees are needed to cover the cost of the work involved.

* Reporter Nikki Wiley writes about government, business and other local topics. Contact her at nwiley@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 321.