INNISFAIL – The town experienced a big drop in overall building permit values for 2020.
There was a total of $6.1 million worth of construction projects completed last year, compared to $9.7 million in 2019.
Since 2012, only in 2017 was the overall building permit values less than last year. In 2017, the town tallied just under $4.6 million in overall building permit values.
Senior town manager Meghan Jenkins presented town council with the local building summary for 2020 at council’s regular meeting on Jan. 25.
Jenkins told council the town’s overall 2020 building permit values for completed construction projects included the new $3.5-million EQUS headquarters, the $1.5-million Mainroad Contracting shop, as well as for the $385,000 Innisfail Ski Hill chalet and two permits worth $335,000 for the Dollarama tenant improvement project.
However, the town took a big hit last year on its residential development performance.
In 2019, the town approved $2.5 million worth of building permits for low density and multi unit residential builds. Last year, the town managed just half of that, and all for low density.
Commercial and industrial permit values were also down in 2020 compared to the year before. In 2020, the town recorded just over $3.3 million in commercial development activity compared to almost $4.8 million in 2019.
Last year, the town only saw just $39,200 worth of industrial development compared to $310,000 the year before. There was no activity at all in 2020 with institutional development.
But council was told there some good news from 2020 with a substantial increase in home renovations and upgrade projects.
In 2020, the town approved more than $1.5 million worth of these projects, compared to $402,660 in 2019.
In fact, the 2020 overall figure for home renovation and upgrade projects is at least twice as much as any year dating back to 2012.
Although off-site levy revenue was also down “significantly” due to the absence of large subdivision projects, Jenkins told council that 2021 is looking much better with the town already seeing seven pending and approved development permits for residential units in the Napoleon Meadows and Bella Vista subdivisions.
Jenkins added there are also two new commercial projects coming to town, including one build for Freeman Insurance.