Permit fees for development along Lake Thurmond won’t go up after plans for an increase were delayed.
“The announcement that residents on Lakes Hartwell and Thurmond won’t experience a steep permit fee increase in January is great news,” U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-Laurens, said in a released statement. “I have been working with the Corps for months on this issue, and I’m pleased they have listened to my concerns and issued a delay.”
When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced plans last year to dramatically increase development costs for several Southeastern bodies of water, including lakes Hartwell and Thurmond in South Carolina, federal lawmakers in those districts said they were caught off guard.
But the agency revealed in a letter to Duncan the concept has been under review for more than a decade. And seeking public input wouldn’t have changed the fee schedule at all.
Currently, the cost of a new development permit on lakes Hartwell and Thurmond are $400, with a re-issue permit set at $175. The revised guidelines would have jumped both rates to $835 on Jan. 1. It would have been the first increase to such permit fees since 2006.
In justifying the increase, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the fees would:
- Allow projects to meet acceptable levels of customer service and regulatory compliance to ensure good stewardship of public lands.
- Allow for investment in automated tools to improve timely and efficient license issuance and database maintenance consistently within the region.
- Ensure that the individual benefiting from the use of public property bears the cost incurred by the government for issuing these instruments.