Brick Township’s Building Department had positive cash flow for the first time since 2008 in 2014.
The department, Mayor John Ducey said, profited $400,000 for the township coffers after losing money several years in a row after the township entered into an agreement with Toms River to take over inspections.
“I’m just ecstatic the way it’s been working out,” said Councilman Jim Fozman.
The agreement with Toms River ended Jan. 1, 2014, the day Ducey took office. He said he immediately began advertising jobs for inspectors in town, conducted interviewed and hired personnel. Brick’s inspectors have been supplemented by plumbing and building inspectors and plan reviewers from the state, who are working on permits for buildings damaged by Superstorm Sandy.
In addition to Brick taking over its own inspection process again, the township council voted in May 2014 to raise inspection and permit fees following a month of amnesty in June. In July, numerous fees began to increase, with most of the new rates being phased in through Jan. 2016. Demolition permits, for example, rose from $100 to $200, and permits for above ground pools rose by the same amount. Many per-foot building fees also rose, such as a hike from 4 cents per foot to 5 cents per foot for many new construction projects.
At the time, township officials said Brick’s fee schedule was outdated and had not kept up with surrounding communities. The last fee hike before 2014 was in 2005, officials said.