SALEM — Selectmen waived the building and electrical permit fees for a temporary storage trailer at the Salem Boys and Girls Club, but one board member said he is afraid the waiver could set a bad precedent.
The total of the two permits is $110. Earlier this year, the Planning Board gave its approval to allow the temporary trailer to stay on the club property for one year.
“It’s a slippery slope if we start waiving permit fees,” said Selectman Pat Hargreaves. He said he knows the $110 is not a huge fee, but noted that there are other nonprofit agencies such as the Field of Dreams and Boy Scouts who will be before selectmen soon with their own building projects.
Everett McBride, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, noted that the board recently waived the sign fees for the organizers of Salemfest.Sonny Tylus of the Boys and Girls Club board of directors said the club has been in town for 45 years providing a wide variety of activities for the town’s youth for a very low price.
“A nonprofit depends on the generosity of the community, and we would appreciate your help on this,” said Tylus.Selectman James Keller noted that the storage trailer is a temporary project that will not require much work. He said the issue might be different if the club was proposing a large-scale project requiring higher permit fees and more town staff time.“
There’s no guarantee that (the club) will not come back to the Planning Board year after year” to extend the permit for the trailer, Hargreaves said. “This would have my vote if there was a one year stipulation in here, but there’s not.”
McBride noted that the permit fees are a one-time only fee and would not apply if the Planning Board did grant an extension for the trailer.
The board voted to waive the fee by a 4-0-1 margin, with Hargreaves abstaining.
Although the permit fees are a one-time only fee, McBride did urge the club to keep to the original Planning Board ruling of allowing the trailer on the property for only one year.
“I hope you find another solution between now and 12 months from now,” said McBride.