Building permits down in 2001
The number of building permits issued in 2001 are lower than they've been in the past few years, but are still holding steady according to city officials.
Building official Jim Tarwater said 22 single-family residence and five two-family residence, or duplex, permits were issued last year. Those numbers were down from 39 single-family permits and 10 two-family permits in 2000, 32 single family permits and no two-family permits in 1999, and 25 single-family permits, 13 two-family permits and eight multiple-family permits in 1998.
"The economy is such right now, residential construction here is not going to be as rapid as what it has been," Tarwater said.
"The problem in September probably had an effect on what people are going to do as far as housing expenditures; they may be more conservative," he said. "There are areas around the country where housing starts are down."
But Tarwater said the Midwest isn't affected as much.
"We're pretty fortunate through here," he said. "I think it will keep pretty steady."
Tarwater said he hasn't had a chance to compare this year's value of the construction to construction in 2000, which was $5.5 million not including the cost of property.
There is currently a building moratorium in place for subdivision plats. He said that moratorium shouldn't have an affect on construction in Baldwin in 2002.
The moratorium is will be in place until a new wastewater treatment plant, with increased capacity, is completed at the end of this year.
Until then, he said there are at least 150 lots that are approved in current subdivisions to meet housing demands.
Tarwater said it's hard to say how many building permits could be issued this year and he's not sure what 2002 will bring as far as new construction, but he does expect to see a little more building at the new developments like FireTree Estates and the Heritage addition.
"This normally would be a slow time. Housing starts are down some," he said. "As far as building is concerned for next year, it just depends on the market."