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Spring construction activity pursues fast track in Carbon County area

Sun Advocate publisher

A construction crew member works with trusses on a building being constructed in the county. Construction activity was slow in county during the winter, but started to pick up as the spring season approached.

While total building permits obtained in the county in 2006 were down from the year before, the construction pace in the spring has been brisk.

In 2006, Carbon County planning and zoning issued 224 total permits, while the year before they had issued 268.

The totals included the entire county, except East Carbon and Price. East Carbon and Price have agencies to issue permits.

Overall last year, county permits issued included documents for 40 stick-built homes, 11 manufactured homes and nine homes that were moved onto property.

Another large category of permits were issued for carports and garages local residents wanted to build. Overall, 41 individuals purchased permits for building these structures.

Last year, commercial permits in the county amounted to 17.

The number of permits issues does not, however, reflect the number of actual construction projects that are going on in the county. Often people will buy a permit, and then not use it for awhile because plans change. They may also do some construction, lay off for awhile and then start construction once again.

"Permits are good for six months and if they start construction within that period and then lay off they are still good," said Kathy Chatterton of the county's planning and zoning department. "As long as the project isn't abandoned, the permit actually doesn't expire."

According to records obtained from the county's planning and zoning department on Monday, construction activity appears to be up for the current year.

Since January, nine permits for new homes have been issued by the county. Various other projects have been put on the docket as well, including metal buildings, awnings and garages.

"Activity was kind of sleepy through the winter, but lately it has really woke up," said Gayla Williams, deputy zoning administrator.

Evaluations of property being built and improvements being made looks good, according to the records as well. In January, improvements filed by applicants totaled $767,918; in February, $678, 385; and in March, $941,783.

During that period of time, nine of the permits were for commercial improvements or construction.

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