By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
$397+ for fire inspections?
Cost recovery impacts small businesses, homeowners
Placeholder Image
If you run a day care or a business with state-mandated fire inspections it doesn’t cost you a cent today for the services of City of Manteca firefighters.
Nor do you have to pay fees for simple building permits for home improvements such as sidewalks and driveways.

That may change soon as a cost recovery study lists what the City of Manteca could legally charge in a bid to recoup $2,316,000 annually in new or increased fees for performing various fire, building and community development services. The misnomer is that the fees only apply to developers. They will apply to anyone who requires specific city services.

It is all part of an effort to bridge an $11.3 million deficit expected to surface in the fiscal year starting July 1. The city has narrowed that gap down to between $2 million and $4 million but it was done with the expectations they’d be able to recover the lion’s share of the cost for performing tasks such as fire inspections.

Required day care inspections by firefighters are done free today for both residential and commercial operations in Manteca. The fee could go as high as $198 for residential and $237 for commercial day cares. That compares to $120 in Tracy, $455 in Folsom, and $226 in Roseville.

Those providing residential elder care involving six or more people are not currently being charged. The fee for that inspection could go up to $279 for 7 to 25 occupants and $461 for more than 26 occupants. Tracy charges $120, Folsom $455, and Roseville $226 to $399.
Pouring 200 square feet of sidewalk doesn’t require the payment of a building fee today. It could soon cost $272 in Manteca as compared to $3,055 or $50 an hour (whichever is less) in Tracy, $444 in Folsom, and $300 in Roseville.

A residential driveway is another no fee building permit in Manteca. It could go to $185 under the cost recovery study. That compares to $55 plus $15 per square foot or $50 an hour (whichever is less) in Tracy, $114 plus $1.65 per square foot in Folsom, and $300 in Roseville.

Engine company business inspections are done now in Manteca at no charge. Under cost recovery it could cost $397 for less than 1,500 square feet, $471 for 1,501 to 2,500 square feet, and $992 over 5,001 square feet. Folsom charges $160.

Residential senior care units are not charged for inspections now by the fire department. It could, however, soon cost $1,339 for five to 50 units, $1,488 for 51 to 100 units, $1,932 for 101 to 200 units, and $2,342 for 201 or more units.

There are no fees charged in Manteca for fireworks booths. The city could charge $130 for a plan check plus $496 for an inspection. Tracy charges $311, Folsom $204, and Roseville $266.

The figures are all gleaned from the draft cost recovery study conducted by Matrix Consulting Group.

City Manager Steve Pinkerton has repeatedly emphasized that going to 100 percent recovery could pose a problem for Manteca in competing for jobs.

The decision of what fees to implement is 100 percent at the discretion of the City Council. The fee that is actually charged can’t exceed 100 percent of the actual cost of providing the service under state law.

The matrix study is needed to assure whatever fee they impose holds up in court.