County Wrestles With Construction Rules - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

County Wrestles With Construction Rules

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Ward County's effort to develop fees and fines for developers and contractors was delayed today.

County commissioners voted to send the plans back to committee for further work.

The county planner presented a package of changes to the county's zoning rules, as well as new wording for fees charged to developers putting in new housing, and a fine structure for builders.

But the proposals for fining contractors ran into opposition from county commissioners, who said the fines were too steep and unrealistic.

Commissioner Jerome Gruenberg, who works for a contractor in the area, had this exchange with the county's building inspector.

(Jerome Gruenberg, Ward County Commissioner) "Contractor's got something ready to pour. He's got a crew there ready to pour. You're busy with something else and can't make it out there. So he's just going to have a crew standing around until you have time to get there? And if not he's going to get fined or be told to tear it out? I won't support this Mike."

(Mike Larson, Ward County Building Inspector) "Number one, he should have called in advance to set up an appointment."

(Jerome Gruenberg, Ward County Commissioner) "That's not always practical."

(Mike Larson, Ward County Building Inspector) "I understand that and I work very much with the contractors on this."

(Jerome Gruenberg, Ward County Commissioner) "I know you do and I know you have concerns and I sympathize with you but this fine schedule is way out of line, way out of whack."

In the end, commissioners approved the zoning regulation changes, but sent back to committee the fee and fine schedules for contractors and developers.

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