Property owners on Lake Allatoona will see fees more than double for renewing existing dock permits, and increase by more than four times the current fee for new permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Atlantic Division starting next year.
Earlier this month, the Corps announced that the total cost for dock and land-based facilities would change to a flat fee for both new and re-issued permits of $835, including $35 for a Shoreline Permit and $800 for a Real Estate License, starting Jan. 1. Previously, dock owners were charged $400 for a new permit or $175 to renew an existing permit. Modifications to permits and licenses, currently $90, will involve getting a new permit and license for $835. Permits are issued for five-year terms.
A statement from the Corps said the new fee is to cover costs incurred by the government in issuing and re-issuing permits. The change, which takes effect Jan. 1, is the first permit fee increase since 2006.
Individuals will no longer be charged a fair market value fee for certain facilities, which currently range from $20-67.
Other Georgia lakes in the division affected by the new fee schedule are Hartwell Lake, J. Strom Thurmond Lake, Lake Seminole, Lake Sidney Lanier, Walter F. George Lake and West Point Lake.
Some Georgia Congress members, including Congressman Barry Loudermillk, R-Cartersville, have questioned the dramatic increase. Loudermilk and four other representatives sent a letter, dated June 14, to the Corps asking for clarification, calling the rise in fees “unexpected and significant.”
“We understand that there may be a period need to update fees in order to meet the costs incurred by such programs, however such increases must be paired with transparency and clear explanation as to why they are warranted. Unfortunately, that has not happened in this case,” the letter reads. “Additionally, the sudden, steep increase in the cost of permits rather than a gradual phase-in suggests a lack of foresight on behalf of the South Atlantic Division. Finally, we find it difficult to believe that the Corps would incur the same costs to renew or modify an existing permit as it would to issue a new permit.”