Under a new agreement, Columbia and Jefferson City building permit reviewers might be able to help each other out in the event of a natural disaster.
The Columbia City Council approved a memorandum of understanding Monday between the two cities. The agreement allows one city’s building and site development department to ask the other for help in reviewing plans for properties. The city can deny the request if it feels its own workload is too high.
Shane Creech, Columbia’s building and site development manager, said the idea came as the two cities brainstormed ideas to help each other after an EF3 tornado hit Jefferson City in May. Creech said Jefferson City officials feared an influx of building permit requests after owners went through the insurance claims process and started rebuilding.
“The concern was that they would need to put as many resources as they could out in the field, which would limit their normal ability to do their normal, everyday plan review and inspection tasks,” Creech said.
Each city would use the same International Code Council family of codes to review plans submitted. Creech said the plan reviewers would ensure that what was submitted followed those rules, then send it back to the original city for further review for local amendments to building codes.
People submitting plans would pay the rates for the city that reviews the plan, Creech said. Columbia plans to only charge for the plan review, which is 50 percent of the cost of the building permit itself. Creech anticipated billing Jefferson City for those costs, if necessary.