Com­mit­tee waives per­mit fees for Everett, Palace pro­jects

The Saline Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By Dana Guthrie [email protected]­ton­

The Ben­ton City Coun­cil Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Com­mit­tee ap­proved two mea­sures that will waive per­mit fees for two lo­cal con­struc­tion pro­jects dur­ing a meet­ing Tues­day.

Per­mit fees to­tal­ing $28,994 will be waived for the new Everett Ford deal­er­ship.

“Just like we have done be­fore,” said Ben­ton Direc­tor of Com­mu­nity and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Brad Jor­dan. “We have been asked to waive the per­mit fees for Everette Ford. They are putting a siz­able in­vest­ment here in our com­mu­nity — up­ward of $10 mil­lion.”

The items be­ing waived in­clude fees for the build­ing, elec­tri­cal, plumb­ing, HVAC, sig­nage and stormwa­ter.

“They have been a re­ally good com­mu­nity part­ner for us,” Jor­dan said.

He added that the com­pany will still be re­spon­si­ble for pay­ing the state sur­charge.

“It’s go­ing to be a re­ally nice look­ing build­ing,” Jor­dan said. “It’s re­ally nice and re­ally invit­ing. It’s go­ing to be re­ally hand­some there on the in­ter­state, mak­ing our city look good.”

Ac­cord­ing to Jor­dan, the Everett Fam­ily of Deal­er­ships has do­nated hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars to var­i­ous pro­jects within the city over the years.

“I can tell you for the (Ben­ton) school dis­trict alone it’s a half a mil­lion dol­lars,” said Al­der­man Jeff Mor­row, who is a for­mer mem­ber of the Ben­ton School Board.

“They are prob­a­bly the best com­mu­nity part­ner the city has,” Jor­dan said. “Not only from the city stand­point, but to the smallest non­profit. They are there for them. Their lead­er­ship team is al­ways re­ally good to work with and al­ways re­ally re­cep­tive.”

The com­mit­tee also voted to

ap­prove wav­ing per­mit fees for the con­struc­tion re­lated to the Palace Theatre that was re­cently pur­chase by Shawn Hip­skind and is un­der­go­ing a com­plete ren­o­va­tion.

“You know the in­vest­ment that (Hip­skind) has made, not only from pur­chas­ing it from the city, but the in­vest­ment that he is pour­ing into as we speak and Shawn is ask­ing that we waive these fees,” Jor­dan said.

Ac­cord­ing to Jor­dan, the fees would to­tal ap­prox­i­mately $2,200.

Both re­quests were ap­proved unan­i­mously. The full city coun­cil will need to ap­prove the re­quests at its up­com­ing meet­ing set June 24 at the Ben­ton Mu­nic­i­pal Com­plex.

All meet­ings are open to the pub­lic and at­ten­dance is en­cour­aged.

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