Economy dents permits in 2016 for both county, town

Both the County of Stettler and the Town of Stettler saw the number of building permits in 2016 decrease when compared to 2015...

Both the County of Stettler and the Town of Stettler saw the number of building permits in 2016 decrease when compared to 2015, but despite the decrease, investment remains.

Permit value is determined by the estimated value of work to complete the structures being built or renovated.

In the County of Stettler, 79 residential permits were issued, valued at $10,780,400 – down from 114 permits valued at more than $15 million. The county issued 16 commercial permits in 2016, up from the 11 issued in 2015. The value of those permits is an estimated $11,485,655, almost four times the value of the 11 permits in 2015.

Though the county issued 30 less permits in 2016 than they did in 2015, the value of those permits was about $5,000 more than the previous year.

The numbers were less pleasant for the Town of Stettler, which saw its 2016 permit values decrease over 2015’s in more than half of the months of 2016. In fact, the total value of permits, $3,854,804, is the lowest the town’s permits have been since 2003.

The town issued permits totalling a value of $1,969,790 in residential, a decrease of about $150,000; $841,200, a decrease of nearly $2.2 million; $776,000 in industrial permits, an increase of about $25,000 over the previous year; and $267,814 in institutional, a decease of nearly $6 million.

According to Leann Graham, director of planning and development with the town, there’s a mix of new construction and renovations or improvements happening.

“The majority of permits we’re seeing in commercial and industrial builds are renovations or improvements, except for one new shop,” she said.

Residentially, though, most of the permits were issued for new construction rather than renovations and improvements, she noted.

This marks the second year in a row of decreases for both the town and county, which find themselves affected by the economic downturn.

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