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Building permits could increase by several hundred dollars

Building permits for small construction projects in Mecklenburg County could go up by several hundred dollars to help cover the costs of code enforcement. In past years, permits for larger projects have significantly subsidized what it costs the county to review plans and inspect projects under $200,000. Jim Bartl, the county's director of code enforcement, estimates revenue from large construction projects next year will be a quarter of what it was in 2007. "We had to look for places to increase revenue and we looked at projects that don't cover their costs or a significant portion of their costs," says Bartl. The county's code enforcement department is funded solely by permit fees. Bartl says the county will likely have to cut 70 positions in the department to make due with lower revenue. The permit increases are still a preliminary proposal. County commissioners will approve a budget in June.