By Alex Malm
During the most recent Londonderry Town Council meeting, on Oct. 16, one of the agenda items was in regards to proposed changes to the fee schedule for different services the fire department charges for.
It was explained by Town Manager Mike Malaguti that they have a fee schedule but they haven’t updated it “in quite a while.”
He said that essentially they were looking to update the fee structure to be similar to other communities since they have been falling behind with covering their costs for a while.
Malaguti also noted that they added fees in anticipation of possible changes to the fire department regulations like call box monitoring.
Division Chief Brian Johnson said the Town charter requires that they look at the fee schedule every two years, which they have done.
He said that with the new administrator and fire chief, he has received the support to propose new changes to the fee schedule something that hasn’t been done since 2008.
Johnson said that they were ultimately looking to be able to recoup most, if not all, of the costs to the town when they perform inspections similar to the system in place for the building department, “So the taxpayers aren’t paying for me to go out to do inspections.”
For example he said that right now the fire and sprinkler inspections are $30 however, he said sometimes he spends multiple days on site.
Johnson said that they looked at 10 different communities with the goal of being in the middle of the road.
Some of the changes he pointed to include for commercial re-inspection fees. He explained that before they had the reinspection fee at $195 while sometimes the original fee was only $75.
“I don’t think it’s fair to charge $195,” Johnson said.
Going forward the new fee for re-inspections will be the original cost.
Another change he pointed to is fire alarm plan reviews which will be going from $30 for new installation to $1 per device. He pointed to an example of a building in town with over 20,000 sprinkler heads which cost $30 for the inspection despite it taking multiple days to complete.
The Town Council ultimately approved the changes to the fee schedule.