OLDS — The number of building permits issued by the town during the first six months of 2020 is infinitely smaller than for the same period last year.
That period coincides with the COVID-19 outbreak, which forced a shutdown of much of the economy for a couple of months.
From January through June this year, 13 building permits were issued for projects worth a total of $2,185,560.
During the same period in 2019, 63 building permits were approved for projects worth a total of $22,424,057.
Statistics on building permits were presented during the town’s monthly Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) meeting, held July 16.
As she presented those figures, development officer Jane Archer struck an optimistic tone.
She noted that in June, the town saw its second building permit application for a single detached home. During the first six months of 2019, only one such application was received.
The big difference is in permits issued in the industrial and institutional categories.
So far this year, only one permit for $4,000 worth of work has been received in the industrial category and only two institutional permits have been issued for work valued at a total of $600,000.
Contrast that with the first half of 2019. During that period, five permits were issued in the industrial category for projects valued at a total of $16.8 million. Five others were issued in the institutional category for projects worth a total of $1.3 million.
Archer said the fact that the town saw its second housing start of the year, along with a few other building permits is encouraging.
“Things are picking up,” she said.
Commission members voted to accept that report as information.
The MPC’s next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 20 at 8:30 a.m.
Currently, that meeting is slated to occur in town council chambers. However, operations director Scott Chant said depending on what happens with the COVID-19 pandemic, it could be held via Zoom, as other MPC meetings have since the lockdown occurred.