WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — The City of Wyoming is waiving building permit fees for people affected by Sunday night’s storm and tornado.
“That is terrific, I am so pleased about that,” said resident Mitchell Skinner.
The EF-1 tornado that swept through parts of Kentwood and Wyoming Sunday night is estimated to have caused $4.5 million in damage — nearly all of it to private property.
Skinner’s house lost its roof and his garage is not leaning to one side. Skinner doesn’t have homeowner’s insurance and is on his own to pay for repairs. He is fortunate to work for Arrow Roofing and his coworkers are helping him save money in repairs.
But never having gone through a natural disaster, Skinner didn’t know he needed a building permit for repairs. He learned when an inspector checked his power connection.
“When he put the OK on the meter, he saw that my company was here trying to fix the gaping hole, and he said, ‘Where is your permit for the roof work?’ And I said, ‘I didn’t know I needed one,'” Skinner said.
But he does need one. Luckily, the city says he won’t have to pay for it.
“You still have to pull the permit. The contractor still has to pull the permit,” City of Wyoming Director of Community Services Rebecca Rynbrandt said. “Because that’s when our inspectors can come out and make sure that things have been connected correctly; that you are not going to have carbon monoxide problems or a ground fault problem that is going to result in a firetruck coming to your house the next day due to an electrical fire.”
The city will not only waive the fees, but also issue refunds for those who already paid.
Not every repair project will require a permit. Each case is different, but a licensed contractor should know whether a permit is needed.
A lot of homes with electrical problems have already been tagged. There are also 11 homes in Wyoming that have been condemned as a result of storm damage. Those homeowners will need permits and inspections after the work is complete to reoccupy.
“Some things like re-roofing, if it is just the shingles, you don’t need a permit for that,” Rynbrandt said.
Ideal Park Christian Reformed Church at 320 56th Street SW in Wyoming will be open from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. Friday, staffed with people from a number of organization to find out what the needs of the people are.
Residents can also call 762.333.1534 to get connected to storm relief resources.
The City of Wyoming is also telling residents they have contracted with two companies to come along and pick up storm debris. They are asking people to pull their debris within 15 feet of the curb for pickup.