City services are not free.

In an 8:1 vote Tuesday, the Stephenville City Council voted against waiving a $512 building permit fee for the construction of a single-family dwelling at 727 W. Frey Street.

Habitat for Humanity requested the waiver, but City Administrator Mark Kaiser said he would "consistently recommend" that the council not waive permit fees.

Kaiser said such requests are fairly common and approving the waiver would mean the city would be giving away inspection services and city time.

He said requests for waivers are fairly common, and there have only been a few occasions the city has approved such requests. Specifically, he said fees were waived when the Boy Scout huts were constructed by local tax-exempt, volunteer-based social service organizations.

But the city has done a lot to assist Habitat's housing ministry, according to Kaiser. He said almost $8,000 in demolition, mowing and clean up fees were waived when the organization purchased the property.

"There is no lack of (city) support on Habitat endeavors," Kaiser said.

Kaiser said the estimated value of the property, which is currently under construction, was listed as $32,000, and the city and other local taxing entities will be delivered property tax revenue.

Betty Chew, director of community development, said Habitat had not yet paid the permit fee, but the organization was aware they would be required to do so if it was not waived by council vote.

In the end, Doug Svien was the only council member who voted against denying the waiver.