Engineering Support and Plan Review Invoice Frequently Asked Questions - NEW (Effective October 22, 2016)

Questions

NEW DOCUMENTATION OF CONSTRUCTION (DOC) FILING FEE

NEW WASTEWATER DOCUMENT RETRIEVAL FEE

INCREASE IN PLAN REVIEW FEES

NEW DOCUMENTATION OF CONSTRUCTION (DOC) FILING FEE

If I installed the system earlier in 2016, but am now just getting around to filing my DOC after October 22, 2016 , can I still get the price of "free"?

No, the fee will be assessed based on the date the applicant submits the DOC to the Department for filing, not based on the date the work was conducted.

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Why do I have to now pay a filing fee?

The Department conducts work in the handling and filing of these documents. Additionally, storage and retrieval of the documents requires maintenance of computer systems and physical space. All of these actions have a measurable cost to the State, and it is the policy of the State to recover direct costs where possible.

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Can I have a waiver to the filing fee?

No, unless exempt under the conditions outlined in AS 44.46.025(d).

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How can I pay the fee?

You can pay at any regional DEC office by cash, check, Visa, Mastercard or Discover card.

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Can I bundle my payment for multiple DOC registrations?

Yes, you may make a single payment in the amount of $115 for every DOC filed.

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Can I be billed for DOCs I submit?

Currently, the Department is not configured to bill for this fee, and the fee is payable at the time of submission to the Department

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What will happen to a DOC if it is submitted without fee payment after October 22, 2016?

The Department will contact the submitter and explain the need for a fee. If the submitter or owner of the property is non-responsive, the Department will file the DOC in a pending status until such time the application fee is paid.

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Does it matter who pays the fee? Can the owner pay the application fee?

The Department recognizes it is typically more efficient to have the application and fee payment information arrive at the same time. The Department, however, does not specify who must make payment of the application fee, as long as the payee can specifically identify which application they are paying for by property legal description.

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NEW WASTEWATER DOCUMENT RETRIEVAL FEE

Why do I now have to pay a retrieval fee?

The Department reviewed the time staff spent assisting stakeholders locate and obtain copies of wastewater documents, and the time was substantial enough to warrant developing a fee to recover those costs.

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Doesn't the State already have an access to public information law?

It does, but Alaska statutes also allow for the Department to evaluate the cost of public document search and retrieval and establish a reasonable fee for this service.

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Can you bill me for the document retrieval fee?

Currently, the Department is not configured to bill for this fee, and the fee is payable at the time of the document request. The Department will not begin the document search, or confirm the existence of a document, prior to the payment of the fee.

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What if your search determines there is no document for my property, do I get a refund?

No, the fee offsets the time the Department staff spent conducting the search. Searches resulting in no documents are still assessed a fee.

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Do I have to pay to get a document off SEPTS now?

No, SEPTS is a self-serve application and is still free to use on-line by any user.

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How can I pay the fee?

You can pay at any regional DEC office by cash, check, Visa, Mastercard or Discover card.

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If I request a search for multiple properties at one time, do you charge the fee per property search or just one instance of the fee?

The Department will assess a fee for each legal property description for which a document is requested.

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Can I bundle my payment for multiple property searches?

Yes.

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I have a home sale transaction in progress, but I cannot pay the document fee by credit card. Can you send my document and I pay later?

No, the Department will not conduct the property search until payment is received. The Department can, however, assist you with finding your document on the self-service SEPTS application if it is available with no fee.

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I thought under 200 pages for a public document did not have a duplication or copying fee. Why the fee for a small document?

The fee is to offset the staff time in conducting the search, not for duplication of the document.

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If it turns out my document was available on SEPTS and I paid for a search, can I have a refund?

No, fees paid for document searches are not refundable.

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If I maintain copies of my wastewater approval documents, do I need to obtain copies from the Department for the sale of my home?

Your lender will likely determine what is adequate to satisfy their requirements. We encourage home owners to maintain copies of their wastewater approval records with their important property records such as the deed, survey, tax records and so on.

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INCREASE IN PLAN REVIEW FEES

Why the big increase in plan review fees?

The Department conducted a study of the staff time required to complete engineering plan reviews and determined a fee structure which recovered the majority of the direct costs to the State. Over time, costs generally increase, but the plan review fees had not been evaluated and changed in several years.

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If I began a project prior to October 22, 2016, can I have the old plan review fee?

The plan review fee will be assessed based on the date the submittal arrives in the Department's office. Plan submittals arriving on or after October 22, 2016 will be assessed the fee according to Table C in 18 AAC 72.

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If I submit plans prior to October 22, 2016, but my client does not make payment for the review fee until after October 22, 2016, can they pay the old fee?

No, a plan submittal is not considered complete until all of the required elements outlined in 18 AAC 72.205 are provided to the Department. 18 AAC 72.205(a)(1) specifies a plan review fee payment is a required element of a submittal. The fee will be assessed based on the date the submittal is invoiced.

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If I have a discussion or a pre-application meeting on a project prior to October 22, 2016, will I be able to pay the old plan review fee?

The plan review fee will be assessed based on the date the submittal is invoiced.

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If I modify a plan which has been submitted prior to October 22, 2016 will I have to pay an additional fee?

No, once a fee is assessed, applicants will not have to submit additional fees for a complete plan submittal.

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What is an hourly fee? I have not seen this before.

An hourly fee is assessed for certain projects which can have a wide range of staff time to conduct the review. When the Department receives a plan which is assessed as an hourly fee, all Department staff will bill all time spent processing or reviewing that application. The Department will bill you monthly for the time staff spent on the plan until the plan review or final approval is complete.

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