Brookings Registry | County rescinds burning ban, waives building permit fees for storm damage

BROOKINGS – Brookings County Commissioners discussed a number of storm-related topics at Tuesday’s meeting, including updates on area-wide damage, waiver of building permit fees and more Again.

The commission voted to rescind the burning ban it enacted on April 19 due to dry conditions.

Conditions have since improved with additional humidity, reported Bob Hill, Brookings County Emergency Manager.

Due to “wet weather conditions and the need to burn trees, Brookings County Association of Fire Chiefs President Dave Jacobson contacted my office and requested that we redact the burning ban” , Hill said.

Commissioners voted 4-0 to overturn the burning ban, with Commissioner Angie Boersma absent.

Building permit fees

Commissioners also voted 4-0 on Tuesday to waive county building permit fees for buildings damaged in the May 12 storm. Permits will still be required for all projects, and permits for construction projects unrelated to the storm will still be subject to fees.

“We suffered a lot of damage, and the majority of the damage will be outbuildings,” Hill told the commissioners. “It’s going to range from barns to grain silos and everything in between.”

County building permits are generally not required for roof damage, he added.

Hill said that in 2002, when an F-0 tornado hit Sinai and other parts of the county, building permit fees were also waived.

“It was a localized incident and not a massive one. It’s a huge disaster. I have reports from Lake Hendricks Township all the way to Sinai,” Hill said.

Hill noted that he cannot waive the building inspection fee unless the county commission wants to pay it.

Hill said he will use his list of property damage reports made to 211 to confirm construction projects are due to storm damage, or homeowners will have to explain why they didn’t report it.

“That’s one of the big reasons to call 211, to let us know you have damage. That and equalization. I would say if equalization comes out and gives me a list of storm-damaged buildings, I’ll stick with that,” Hill said.

Commissioner Mike Bartley asked if the county’s building inspectors — a county employee and an additional contractor — would be able to handle the increased workload due to storm damage. Hill said he didn’t think it would be a problem and further help could be provided if needed. Depending on the type of building being constructed, inspectors may visit the site anywhere from one to three times.

The commissioners added a deadline to waive building permit fees for storm-related damage. To waive the permit fee, a permit application must be submitted by December 31, 2023.

Call 211

Tuesday’s meeting included details of the storm damage, response and related issues from several county department heads.

Hill said the reason he’s urging people to report property damage to 211 is that any damage in Brookings County, even in municipalities, counts toward the county’s damage assessment that will be submitted to the state. friday.

If there is enough damage in the state, the governor requests a presidential disaster declaration.

This helps determine if the county is receiving state and individual federal assistance.

“Individual help is extremely difficult to obtain. You must have a large dollar damage volume. That’s why we’re asking for the public’s help. Tell us what you have, and all we can do is put the information together, send it over and they’ll take a look at it,” Hill said.

Public assistance, which compensates damage to infrastructure, is different from individual assistance.

“We had so many power lines down, (getting public assistance) isn’t going to be difficult, I don’t think. … The reason for 211 and why we ask people to call is to try to get one-on-one assistance. We do not promise that we will ever get individual help.

“A lot of people are asking for help, and we understand that. All we can do is try,” Hill added.

Contact Jill Proud at [email protected]

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