Building permits in Baldwin increase
Baldwin saw a boom in the construction of houses this past year.
The town saw an increase in single and two family dwellings like never before, which can only benefit Baldwin, City Administrator Jeff Dingman said.
"The council's goal is to decrease the mill levy," he said. "The more growth we have, the better the opportunity for it do go down.
"It's also good especially since the city's made some pretty strong commitments with utilities," Dingman said referring to the town's recent infrastructure improvements.
In 2003, 48 single family dwelling permits were issued, an increase from last year's 36. An even greater jump occurred with two family permits. Baldwin saw an increase of 13, up from only five in 2002.
The 66 permits for single and two family dwellings were the most issued in a single year since 1995. In fact, the permits issued were well above the nine-year average of 29 single and 7.4 two family.
Dingman said he couldn't explain the increase in building permits, but said development continues in subdivisions like FireTree Estates and Signal Ridge.
Council Member Todd Cohen said the increase in houses could benefit the other Baldwin residences.
"My hope is it will result in the restoration of some of the older properties in town," Cohen said.
Though there wasn't a lack of building permits being issued for houses, commercial growth didn't see the same success this year.
No commercial building permits were issued in 2003, down five from last year's total.
Dingman said he hopes Baldwin will see an increase in commercial permits, especially with the city's plans for a business park.
"We want to try to encourage that type of growth," he said. "I hope the residential levels off and we're also able to throw commercial permits into the mix."
Cohen agreed a focus of the city in the future would be economic development, especially with the development of the business park. But the growth of Baldwin, he said, shouldn't be limited to the north side of town.
"My biggest concern is downtown because the growth has been out toward the highway," he said.
Regardless of where it happens, he said, he thinks Baldwin's growth will continue and the number of building permits will not decrease. Cohen said people will continue to move to Baldwin because of what the town provides.
"The mix that Baldwin offers," he said, "it gives it a special status."