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Housing permits are up this year

Farmington's housing construction is far from what it was in the heyday of the earlier part of the decade, but it's still coming back.

"It's slow, but steady," said Farmington building official Ken Lewis.

To date this year, the city of Farmington has issued 76 building permits for single-family housing. Lewis expects to see another dozen or so before the end of the year. That will bump the totals for this year past last year's total of 77.

"We'll bypass that this year," Lewis said. "It was a little slower last quarter, but that's to be expected for the winter."

Lewis isn't ready to say the market is completely turning around. There are still quite a few houses out there that are in foreclosure and selling for significantly less than new homes are. That might be playing in to the market game, as well.

Still, there seems to be a positive trend evolving, albeit slowly. Already there are a few projects on the books, and that bodes well.

"Next year should be pretty good," he said.

Keeping busy

The building inspections division has been pretty busy lately, too. Besides the increase in single-family housing permits and the inspections that go along with them, city building inspectors are just starting to see the permits come in from homes damaged in the Aug. 13 tornado.

On the average, Lewis said, the city issues 40 to 60 permits a week for roof repair and siding replacement. Not all of those projects were due to the storm, but most of them were. In addition, the city has issued permits for most of the 13 homes Lewis declared uninhabitable due to the extensive damage those homes received.

"Those are coming in slow but steady," Lewis said.

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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