IFD to charge fees to business community for safety inspections
Service has always been free in past
Last Updated: 73 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - A controversial plan by the Indianapolis Fire Department will charge user fees to the business community for safety inspections.
This marks the first time in the history of the department that it will charge for what has always been a free service.
Every year, the fire department has sent inspectors into the community to make sure that Indianapolis businesses, both large and small, adhere to the safety codes.
“People who use the service more than likely should be paying for those services. And again, I’m not the one that takes care of the numbers and counts the money. My main interest is public safety,” said IFD Fire Marshal Fred Pervine.
The user fees range in cost from $25 for small buildings, and up to $150 for buildings of 10,000 square feet or more.
The fee notice was mailed two weeks ago and the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce began hearing from its membership immediately.
“It’s our understanding that the intent was to save money in the long run for businesses. But perhaps, it wasn’t rolled out or best communicated to the members of the business community,” said Mark Fisher.
The user fees will impact more than 20 local businesses.
Vice President O’Brien Basset of Essential Architecture Signs said his company already pays more than $500 a year to a private company for twice yearly safety inspections.
“If they need money, tell us. Lets raise taxes, which I don’t agree with. But I mean, this seems like a backdoor way to get money,” Basset said.
IFD said the money will only cover the cost of the inspection program, and fire officials insist the revenues won’t generate profits, but improve public safety.
“Right now, we’re not getting to all of the properties. All of the properties in Marion County are not being inspected. And so with this program in place, we’re able to look at every property and impact every property,” Pervine said.
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