Ethan Steinquest/Macon County Times State Sen. Mark Pody gives the Macon County Commission a legislative update during its meeting held Monday.

Ethan Steinquest/Macon County Times

State Sen. Mark Pody gives the Macon County Commission a legislative update during its meeting held Monday.

The Macon County Commission approved a revised building permit fee schedule at its meeting on Monday evening in an effort to save money on future transactions.

Under the new schedule, most types of construction will be charged at rates per square footage, along with a $1 impact fee per square foot.

"The bottom line is, our rates compared to all the other counties (were) much, much lower," Macon County Mayor Steve Jones said. "We felt those needed to be changed."

County attorney Guy Holliman added that the previous fee schedule effectively allowed people to name their price.

"Quite frankly, (that) schedule is based on … 'tell me what the building's worth that you're going to build,'" Holliman said. "You all know what that means. If somebody decides it's a $50,000 building, that's what they ask for a permit on, and if it's a $200,000 building, the county's taking the hit. This puts everybody on the same playing field."

State Sen. Mark Pody also attended the meeting and gave a legislative update on issues ranging from transportation to Macon County's effort to bring water to residents.

"We've got two active construction programs," Pody said. "One is on Highway 52 from Green Grove Road, and it's a safety program. The state's going to be putting in about $291,000 into that program, and it should be done around September of this year."

According to Pody, the second active program covers an eight-mile stretch from Ellington Drive to the Kentucky state line and will see a $1.2-million state investment. The estimated completion date is October.

Pody also said there has been some discussion at the state level on bringing water into rural areas.

"Almost everything that we have is going to be on a most-needed basis with factors like income and how many taps per mile," Pody said. "However, there's a little bit the governor's going to be doing that he can award on his own, and if there's something that doesn't fit (in a grant category), I can bring that to the governor."

Commissioner Marcus Smith said that one issue facing the county is that there are mile-long gaps without water in areas covered by community development block grants (CDBGs).

"We've almost used up all those areas (covered by CDBGs), and now, we're needing to bridge gaps," Smith said. "From the state perspective, I'd like it be discussed whether we can put some money out there to close some of these one-mile gaps before we get back to those low-income people, because we're struggling to find areas we can 100-percent fund ourselves."

The commission also approved a petition from residents of Maple Grove Road that will see signs posted prohibiting large trucks from using it as a shortcut.

Jones said that the road is too narrow to support the level of tractor-trailer traffic it has been seeing, but that the bill will not keep farmers and workers from using it if necessary.

The Macon County Commission's next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on June 3 at the Macon County Court House in Lafayette.