The city of Cambridge heard arguments about waving permits fees for the Shalom Thrift Shop at their February 1st city council meeting. Shalom Thrift Shop has been in business for 35 years and has contributed around $420,000 to the community in 2019 alone.
The thrift store is looking to add a cover over their existing ramp to help protect their volunteers from harsh weather, at a building cost of around $50,000. Shalom said they believe the city should consider issuing the permits at no cost based off of the services and contributions the organization has made to the city.
The council heard from Dick Halbmaier, a representative for Shalom, who spoke about the impact their organization makes.
"Since we begun the shop, almost three million dollars have been given back to the community" said Halbmaier, "We've grown so much, we expect to donate almost million dollars every other year in the near future."
The council discussed if waiving the fees would create a precedent for future projects for non-profits, especially after already waving the fees for a project with Habitat For Humanity.
Cambridge Mayor Jim Godfrey shared his thoughts on why the motion could be passed
"If we are saying that it is a COVID-19 response, then hopefully this situation will be done after everyone is vaccinated hopefully in a couple months." said Mayor Godfrey, "Then that precedent won't be used again because hopefully we will never see COVID again."
The city council passed the resolution four to one with council member Shogren being the only opposition.