Building permits up in August
Prince Albert posted a formidable month for building permits in August, but there’s some confusion over where it’s all coming from.
Published on Tuesday, the Statistics Canada data revealed that August was the strongest month for building permits in all of 2017 and 2016. In all, the agency’s spreadsheets recorded $11,273,000 worth of permits that month in Prince Albert.
The most striking jump appeared to come in the industrial category, which had been basically flat for twelve months. According to StatsCan, the city issued three industrial permits this August, valued at $6,496,000.
That’s far more than any other month going back to the beginning of last year. In fact, it’s about twice the value of all other months in that period combined.
But Mayor Greg Dionne says the spreadsheets are mixed up. The good news should be filed in the institutional category, not industrial. He said it comes from upgrades to the Prince Albert Correctional Centre and from the new water reservoirs approved this summer.
“It’s institutional that’s up more than six million,” he said.
Commercial building permits also made a strong rally in August. Though only two permits were issued, they were valued at $3,150,000. There were also four permits for improvements, totalling $1,425,000. Taken together, that’s the highest value for commercial permits since January.
Dionne said commercial building is particularly good for the city’s tax base. He said it comes from work in the Cornerstone area.
“Commercial continues to drive us,” he said. “Of course the big bump there is because of Rock Development, SaveOn-Foods and that building.”
The residential sector didn’t see the same growth this summer, however. Overall, $977,000 of residential permits were issued in August, up slightly from July but comparatively weak for the year.
But non-residential building permits are strongly outpacing 2016. They were already over $34 million for the year in the latest report, far ahead of the $22 million recorded for all of 2016.
Prince Albert’s growth is in line with a provincial trend. With 17.5 per cent growth year-on-year, Saskatchewan posted the second strongest building permit data of any province this August, as the government happily reported.
Dionne said that September has also been a strong month for building permits in Prince Albert. But he thinks the fall will be even better. First, there’s a new truck stop. Then comes the new hotel proposal.
The mayor is celebrating the good news, but he said there’s a need for even more building growth.
“I would like to see a lot more,” he said. “I’m working hard to get that figure up even more, because when you have that figure up it means your trades are working.
“I want people working and our city growing.”
More development means more work for tradespeople in Prince Albert, Mayor Dionne says.