(Riley County, KS – March 17, 2023) Starting this month, some fees associated with environmental health permits, land use permits, and licensing processes will increase to help offset county costs. However, Riley County will continue to cover the bulk of the costs for all Planning and Development and Environmental Health Services.
“The applicant will still only be responsible for a portion of the expense,” said Planning and Development Department Director, Amanda Webb. “The increases will help offset county costs, but we are not putting the entire burden on the applicant. Our goal is a balanced and fair approach that reflects responsible stewardship of tax funds. The county will continue to absorb the remainder of the costs as part of the annual Planning & Development Budget.”
For example, in 2023, the fees for wastewater system minor repair permits became $50 and major repair permits increased to $100. Until 2018, all wastewater repair permits, were assessed a $75 fee regardless of severity. In 2018, repairs were broken into major and minor categories and only the major repair permits retained the $75 fee. Minor repair permits became no charge. Major repairs are classified as tank replacement, field replacement, or both. Minor repairs include issues with the lid, inspection port pipe/cap, blower motor, or pump, or a plugged line from the tank to the field.
“Minor repairs still require time, so it is sensible to assess a minimum fee to offset some county costs. Major repairs are more intensive and require more work, and site inspections, so it is also sensible that there is a difference in fees between the two categories,” said Webb. “We simply reviewed existing fees and made changes to reflect a balanced and fair approach to the work required.”
Fees for other services, such as Mobile Home Park Licensing and publishing of public notices also increased.
“Previously, we weren’t charging applicants to publish the required public notices and the existing fees were not covering these expenses,” said Webb. “Charging a flat fee seemed like a fair approach, since the County incurs publishing costs and not just staff time. Even with the addition of these flat fees, the applicant is still not paying the entire cost.”
Mobile Home Park (MHP) licensing fees have increased based on staff time. Previously, applicants were charged $5 per unit, for either a new license or a renewal license, with a maximum fee of $300. A lot of work goes into licensing or renewing a license for these parks, including site inspections of each unit, each space, and the entire facility. While, again, the increase in fees still does not cover all the county’s cost for MHP licensing, it helps offset county costs and considers the intensive staff time needed to process these licenses.
Going forward, Mobile Home Parks will be essentially grouped into small MHP or large MHP. Any MHP with 50 units or less is considered small and will pay just the base fee. Any MHP with greater than 50 units will be charged an additional $5 per unit per unit above 50, up to a $500 maximum. It was important to recognize the distinction between large and small parks and not have the same fee assigned to both.
Summary of Fee Changes
- Added flat $50 for applications that require a public hearing and public notice publishing.
- Added flat $50 for applications that require resolution publishing.
- Added fees for two new land use processes added with the January 1, 2022 Land Development Regulations - Administrative Adjustment and Exception – both $100.
- Increased major wastewater repair permit fee to $100 (increase of $25).
- Added minor wastewater repair permit fee to $50 (increase of $50).
- Increased fees for Alternative System Installer initial license ($150) and renewal license ($50). Both are considered increases because the department was previously only charging a base fee for standard installers and the alternative installer came along with it, whether someone did it or not.
- Increased fee for Excavation initial license to $200 (increase of $50). The renewal license decreased to $100 (decrease of $50).
- Increased fees for Mobile Home Park licenses – increased initial license fee to $150 + $5 per unit over 50 units ($500 max). Increased renewal license fee to $75 + $5 per unit over 50 units ($500 max). The previous fee was $5 per unit, max $300.
The Planning and Development Department has a staff of 5.5 FTE employees to serve the unincorporated areas of Riley County, which covers roughly 600 square miles. Their mission is to coordinate the design, adoption and implementation of comprehensive planning which shall strive to ensure that all resources of the county are preserved, developed and managed consistently with adopted policies that promote the highest quality of life for present and future citizens.
Find more information at Riley County Planning and Development and Environmental Health or call 785-537-6332.