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Disappointing building numbers for North Battleford in July

Numbers provided to council Monday showed a grand total of four building permits in July for a permit value of $140,000, way down from $14.3 million from July 2022.
North Battleford council, meeting at Don Ross Centre, Aug. 22, was concerned about “disappointing” building permit numbers for 2023.

NORTH BATTLEFORD - July was a dismal month for new building permits in the city of North Battleford, and council made it known Monday that they are getting concerned.

Numbers provided to council at Monday's meeting showed a grand total of four permits in July for a permit value of $140,000. 

Those included three permits for new garages at $120,000 and one for a sign at $20,000.

It's a far cry from the four permits issued in July 2022 for $14,301,500. One of those permits had been for an institutional alteration for $14.2 million.

Overall, North Battleford is way off the pace set in 2022. Through July of last year 58 permits were issued for $34,771,800. This year through July, it is 51 permits for $6,396,925.

James Johansen, Director of Engineering, Planning, Asset Management & Infrastructure, presented the building permit report to council Monday and noted the numbers were "down substantially from last year."

"There were a few large building permit applications last year. We haven't seen any of those this year, but it is a concern."

Councillor Kelli Hawtin asked if anyone was showing interest -- if there was "any interest in tax incentives, any tire kickers, or is the office just dull and quiet regarding building permits?"

Johansen said there had been no interest expressed in tax incentives. He did say there were a couple of "tire-kickers", but "they're confidential at this time."

"Other than that, no, it's really slow. We've had a few things come in, but it's very very slow. So, yeah. It's very disappointing."

Hawtin asked further if there was any more they could do, wondering if it was "the time we're in... inflation has kind of hit the pocketbooks of everybody including developers or business development."

City Manager Randy Patrick said they have been working on business development and acknowledged there has been some issues surrounding the economy. He suggested bringing back a report, saying this was a topic he would like to spend time with at council.

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