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Farmington housing construction picks up steam in 2013

The numbers don’t lie — 2013 was a big year for housing construction in Farmington.

The city of Farmington issued 121 building permits for single-family residences in 2013. That’s almost double the number issued in 2012, when 68 permits were issued for single-family housing.

That translates into all good news for the city’s budget, city administrator David McKnight said. The city had budgeted $293,000 in revenues from single-family housing building permits for 2013, he said. The final totals for the end of the year are not available yet, but through Nov. 30, the city had received $495,649 in new housing construction permits.

“The economy came back last year, and so did the housing market,” McKnight said. “Obviously that had a huge impact, a positive impact, on the budget.”

The trend started early in the year, with construction permit income reaching $27,128 last January. It was a significant increase from 2012, when only $6,922 came in during the first month of the year.

“You could see this, quite frankly, coming in January. 2013 jumped ahead of the last two years immediately and stayed there throughout the whole year. We saw it right away,” McKnight said.

June was the peak month for construction permits, with $109,291 coming in as permit revenue. July and September were the next two busiest months.

It kept the city’s buildings inspections staff plenty busy. There were a few times during those peak months when the buildings inspections staff had to put in some overtime, but the overtime was more than paid for through the additional housing permits last year, McKnight said.

“With this kind of work, it creates its own revenue,” he said.

The building inspections staff also processed permits for utilities, plumbing and heating projects, and home improvement projects and additions last year. In total, the city of Farmington received $602,835 from construction permits issued through Nov. 30.

While the new housing construction is a good thing, it’s also starting to limit the number of available lots for construction in the city. More and more of the inventory is being built out, but no contractors have brought any new plats to the city yet, McKnight said.

Still, the city is looking ahead to another good year of construction in 2014. Extra funding was built into this year’s budget to help cover any kind of overtime or the possibility of hiring temporary help for the buildings inspections staff.

“It’s very good news and we were happy to see it,” McKnight said. “We’re anticipating seeing that continue in 2014.”

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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