PAYETTE — After discussing the matter for a third time with the Payette City Council, the Payette School District appears to have the city’s final answer on the total amount the city will be charging for a building permit to repair McCain Middle School’s roof.

That total is now less than $800, down sharply from the approximately $3,900 charge the district originally faced.

District employee Barbara Choate, who was on the agenda for the council’s Monday night meeting, had already laid the groundwork for dispensing with at least $3,000 of the original total in her two previous appearances before the city officials on May 20 and June 3. During the June 3 discussion, councilors and Mayor Jeff Williams acknowledged that the school district should be able to avoid that portion of the charge if the district’s licensed architect provided stamped plans.

In answer to a question from Williams on Monday, Choate confirmed again that the plans are indeed stamped.

“They are stamped, and our engineer is going to be doing all of the … inspections during the replacement of the bladder” in the middle school roof, Choate said.

The council’s focus then shifted to the remaining fee of approximately $900. This was for a plan review the city’s building inspector had already performed, and in view of this, an outright waiver of the charge would in fact be costing the city some money.

Councilor Kathy Dodson, noting that 85 percent of the review fee was supposed to go to the building inspector, suggested that not charging the school district now would be depriving the inspector of an amount due him.

“I think we’re still obligated to pay him,” Williams said.

Councilor Ray Wickersham pointed out that a city “donation” of the plan review fee to the school district would still face local taxpayers with picking up the tab.

“It all comes out of the taxpayer’s pocket, one side or the other,” Wickersham said.

Councilors finally settled on a more modest donation. On a motion from Councilor Alan Massey, the council unanimously approved reducing the fee by 15 percent, the portion that would have gone not to the inspector, but into city coffers. The school district will therefore be paying a little under $770 for the review.

According to City Clerk Mary Cordova, the school district had the option of using the Idaho Division of Building Safety to perform the plan review, but the city’s fee for this service was lower.

“The state is probably about four hundred dollars more than what we would [charge], and the district chose to have the city do it,” Cordova said.

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