Burning Permit Hike Requested

Selectmen will be asked tonight to increase the fee from $5 to $10.

Selectmen will be asked tonight to increase the fee for burning permits from $5 to $10.

The fee increase is sought to offset costs associated with the permits, including keeping the fire department open on Saturday mornings during burning season.

The request is reasonable, Town Administrator Timothy P. McInerney said in a memo, because the town charges $25 for the town dump and open burning season appears to be more costly for the town.

The responded to 29 illegal burning calls in 2010, 25 in 2011 and 12 as of April 30 of this year, the memo says.

The burning season runs from Jan. 15 to May 1. Anyone holding a permit must call the Fire Department the day they are planning to burn.

In 2010, 255 permits were issued; they were used 1,049 times. In 2011, 266 permits were issued and used 695 times. This year, 347 permits were issued.

Mike Scully June 06, 2012 at 04:11 PM
I understand there are costs associated with issuing and handling the permits but not every problem should be solved by raising fees because costs are not under control, attempts at reducing costs should also be considered. This goes for any fee not not just burning. The fact that our town dump fee is $25 has absolutely no bearing on what should or should not be charged for an unrelated fee. I like the fact that Tim mentioned they are looking into automating the permit process, putting it online and possibly even including a kiosk in the town offices. This should reduce handling costs across all departments that issue permits. In the case of burning permits, it was said that someone needs to manually compile a list of who called in saying they will be burning that day. While that is true for those that call in, the process could be automated by requiring users either submit an online form with their permit number, house number etc or call the station. The electronic form could be automatically shared with the police department and fire department without any manual entry of data. Phone call data could be added easily by having admin use the same form the public uses, it would automatically update the online document. Data entry reduced, costs reduced. Mike Scully


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