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Council approves First State Inspection contract

Terry RogersGovernment, Headlines, Milford Headline Story

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Milford City Council approved an update to the contract with First State Inspection Agency

At a recent meeting, Milford City Council approved rate increases and a slight expansion in the contract with First State Inspection Agency (FSIA). The city has used the inspection agency since 2017 as an on-call option to cover when city building inspectors are overloaded or out of the office. The new contract includes changes in the fee structure used by FSIA.

“For reference, I provided a breakdown of our expenditures over the last three fiscal years. We spent a little over $26,000 in FY 22, $11,000 in FY 23, and only around $3,300 this past fiscal year, as we brought on a building inspector in house,” Rob Pierce, City Planner said. “Staff recommends that we continue the contract with First State using the proposed FY 25 contract and fee schedule. There have been no increases in the contract since 2021. There are a few increases and actually a couple of decreases, as they’ve restructured the way they fill out some of their different projects.”

Councilman Dan Marabello asked if there were significant changes to the fees charged by FSIA and Pierce stated that some of the costs went down as they dropped a base fee but raised a square footage fee. Fees that increased went up between $20 and $30 which was not unreasonable considering they had not increased prices since 2021.

“Real quick, I don’t want to beat this at death, the charge was before $75 plus 25 cents per square foot. Now it’s just 27 cents per square foot. A demolition review or a sign review was $50 they’re looking for $95 now. So, there are some increases,” Pierce said. “The review for a single family home was $245 which included five inspections or and now it is $275 for five inspections, their fee went up, you know, $30 additional. So again, they haven’t adjusted anything with us for the last three years.”

Pierce stated that FSIA augmented the in-house building inspector in an on-call capacity. They did include a discount for Milford on some services.

“Let’s say Fred’s out, or a building inspectors out on a Tuesday or Wednesday for an appointment or happens to be sick, they only want to charge a $60 a trip, so they charge everybody else $75 but since we are local and their offices are here in Milford, it is not as much of a burden as if they had to drive an hour for an inspection,” Pierce said. “But we’ll continue to monitor, and we do have $12,000 budgeted for on call contract services, but again, barring anything significant, I don’t see us getting over $4,000 or $5000 again like we did last year.”

Councilman Marabello asked if these costs were passed on to those using  the service.

“We have a separate fee schedule, which is structured different than how their contract is written, so for the most part, we cover our costs,” Pierce said. “But, these aren’t direct pass through costs to the applicant.”

The contract with FSIA passed unanimously.



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