KEARNEY – Building permits have jumped 300 per cent for the month of April in the Town of Kearney.
According to a building department report included as part of the council agenda package for the May 4 council meeting, a total of 10 permits have been issued for the year, eight of those issued during the month of April.
“It looks as though the building permit process is waking up in Kearney,” said Mayor Tomlinson.
The report also states that $5,722 was billed permit fees during the month, bringing the total for the year to $10,451.
“The value of construction to date is 94 per cent of that for this same time last year and permit fees are 122 per cent,” states the report. “Comments were provided for one consent application. One order to comply and one order to remedy non-conformity with property standards were issued. Plan reviews were performed on 14 building permit applications.”
Mayor Paul Tomlinson says that a survey has gone out to residents addressing the issue of building permits in the town, and if there are any meaningful results stemming from the survey, a public meeting will be held.
Tomlinson says he was surprised to find out that low building permit numbers are not uncommon in the province.
“I believe that the matter is in hand,” he said. “I know it is an issue with a lot of people in the town.”
The online survey included questions about the public’s understanding of the building code, dealings with the building department, and experience with inspections.
The survey concluded May 8, and staff will conduct an analysis and bring it back to council with recommendations.
During the same meeting, council also passed a by-law adopting a code of conduct for the chief building official and inspectors in the town.
“The conduct and behaviour of the town of Kearney’s building official reflects on the building department’s commitment to the highest standards of professionalism, technical competence, skill, honesty, fairness and independence,” states the bylaw in the introduction.
According to the building department report, a “considerable amount of time was spent performing a comprehensive review of all building permits issued from 2002 to 2006. These permits have been properly filed and a record of their status prepared for eventual creation of a GIS layer. It is intended to continue this review back to 1995, as time permits.”