STAR CITY — Town council passed the first reading of an update to the building permit ordinances, adding a penalty for working without a permit.
City code enforcement official Lanie Martisko said the penalty for working without a building permit would be made double the permit fee by the proposed update to the ordinance.
“I’ve caught quite a few people working without a permit,” she said. “We just changed like one section in the building permits. So, if it’s $25 for the permit, and I have to go stop them to go get a permit then it would be $50. It’s double the permit fee.”
According to the ordinance, Star City is able to fine the offending party up to the fine imposed by the state, and a person working without a permit, upon conviction, would be fined not less than $1 nor more than $100. The person would also be responsible for the costs of his/her prosecution, and each day of the violation would be considered a separate offense.
Martisko said rather than imposing fines, the penalty would provide an alternative that would provide incentive for the offending party to get a permit without having to go to court.
She said she used the penalty system in other municipalities, and typically, once someone received the penalty, they tend to not offend again.
“If you give someone a citation, you have to go to court if they want to fight,” she said. “It’s just a pain. So, this is easy because no one wants to get a citation and then have to stop work. They’ll just pay the penalty, get the building permit and be done.”
- The next Star City Town Council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 29 at Star City Town Hall. The filing period for the June municipal election in Star City is open and runs through Jan. 26. More information is available at town hall.