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Charlotte Fire victims plea for building permit waivers

Victims of the charlotte fire who lost their homes met with the Bannock County Commissioners on Wednesday, saying building permits are turning into a huge obstacle when it comes to rebuilding their lives.

A group of those who lost their homes are asking county commissioners to waive building permit fees to all those affected by the Charlotte Fire.

“We we’re told you would be there for us. That you would do everything possible to help us. At that meeting we were told there would be no hangups with our building permits,” fire victim Meg Allen said.

Commissioner Howard Manwaring said the county has fulfilled those promises, even passing emergency ordinances to allow people to build who otherwise wouldn’t have met code.

“Matter of fact, I don’t think we could be more sympathetic. We’ve bent over backwards to try and do everything we could. There’s some of you that wouldn’t have been able to rebuild on your property had we not made the changes,” Manwaring said.

But still victims are facing tough struggles, many at the meeting said insurance companies simply aren’t paying enough to restore what they’ve lost.

Despite the commissioners rebutting some of the arguments of the fire victims, they wanted to make it clear the pleas aren’t falling on deaf ears.

“We’re listening. We’re trying to do what we can, but we can’t do it overnight, and we can’t do a knee jerk reaction.”

The commissioners didn’t make a decision at the meeting, but said they would take the issue under advisement and discuss it in later meetings.

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