Farmer says Building Permits in Dorchester County Too High - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Farmer says Building Permits in Dorchester County Too High

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RHODESDALE, Md,- Robert Murphy wants to expand from six chicken houses to ten, but he says he's being held up by building permit fees.

According to a survey conducted by the Murphy's permit service, to build four chicken houses would cost roughly $1,745 in Worcester County, $1,650 in Somerset County, $2,750 in Wicomico County, and $720 in Queen Anne's County.  In Dorchester County, Murphy says he is looking at paying $13,700 in fees.

"It's harder on the farmers, and the chicken industry would probably be more here in Dorchester County if the permit fees were reasonable." said Murphy.

His son agrees.

"I think a lot more people would look to build in Dorchester county if the permit fees were lower." said JB Murphy.

The county used to have an inspector on staff, but since that person retired, the position was eliminated and the county contracted out to an inspector in Easton.  The Murphys say this has presented it's own challenges.

"We tried to get permits Thursday, we never got them, Friday they were supposed to call us.  We have not heard a phone call yet.  From nobody.  It's frustrating when you want to spend money but can't." said Robert Murphy.

County Councilman Tom Bradshaw says now that the council is aware of the problem, they will be looking at all possibilities to lower the fees to correspond better to the surrounding area.

"We want this (construction) to happen.  It's going to bring tax money to the county and help our economy."

Bradshaw said it would be his personal goal to get this issue fixed, and has already had several meetings to start the process.  He said once the fees were lowered, the Murphys would pay the new rate, hopefully in time for them to start construction on the chicken houses by the planned date in March.

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