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Why do I need a permit?

Why do I need a permit?

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Saturday is the First Day of Spring. With spring comes good weather (mostly). And with good weather comes a slew of projects around the house. But working hard isn’t the only thing we know how to do. We know how to play hard, too!

Whether working hard or playing hard, some things require registering with the local or state government. For the sake of this article, assume that permits, licenses, registrations, and bonds all refer to the same thing. Their differences aren’t pertinent to this conversation.

My neighbor says permits are just another way government tries to control our lives.

Actually, no. Permits generally serve three purposes, and two are safety related.

One purpose is to keep track of who is doing what so we know who to contact if an issue arises. For example, if you find a lost dog and don’t know who it belongs to, you can call the City Offices and they can tell you who the owner is so you can return the dog to its family.

The second purpose is to make sure only qualified people are doing certain things that could impact another person’s wellbeing. For example, if there’s an outlet in your home that needs the attention of an electrician, you can call the City Offices and get a list of licensed electricians that are authorized to work within the city. It wouldn’t be a very good idea to hire your brother-in-law’s cousin who took a class once back in college.

The third purpose is to make sure guidelines are followed that could otherwise result in destruction and harm if ignored. For example, Certificates of Occupancy (COO) are granted when a building is built according to the International Building Codes. If there is no COO, the building may not be safe to occupy.

My neighbor says permits are just another way the government takes our money.

In truth, permit fees go right back into the program they are serving. Those fees allow us to pay for the material and labor required to continue those programs. For example, revenues from state fishing licenses are used to stock the lakes where you go fishing. In fact, while writing this article I had a phone call from Nebraska Game & Parks. They stocked 600 rainbow trout in the David City Park West Pond last October, and they will stock 600 more on Wednesday of this week (March 17th).

Okay, so when do I need a permit?

I won’t go over every permit in this article; you can call the City Offices if you want to know if a permit is needed for something in particular. But here is a quick list of things for which David City requires permits:

- ATV’s/UTV’s

- Golf Carts

- Dogs

- Plumbers

- Electricians

- Building something (fence/garage/shed/home/new driveway/etc.)

There are many nuances to this discussion. This is simply a quick introduction. Call the City Offices when you have questions. But above all, remember: Work hard, play hard.

Clayton Keller is the city administrator of David City. His column will be published once a month in The Banner-Press.


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