St. Francis - Three years in, a program designed to keep more residents in their "starter home" has had mixed success.
Starting in 2007, the city agreed to waive all building inspection fees - about $2,000 - for anyone who made significant additions to their home. The additions had to increase the assessed value of the home by more than 50% to qualify for the fee waivers.
The idea, City Administrator Ralph Voltner said Wednesday, was to keep more residents from leaving St. Francis for larger homes elsewhere.
"We have been viewed as a starter-home community," he said.
Three residents took advantage of the program in 2007, one did in 2008 and three more did in 2009, city Building Inspector Craig Vretenar said.
Vretenar said he had hoped that perhaps a dozen residents per year would utilize the program. He speculated that rising building costs discouraged some residents from making significant additions.
Voltner and Vretenar said they aren't aware of any other community in the Milwaukee area that offers such fee waivers.
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