Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

June 23, 2013

Building permits holding steady

$18 million in new construction locally.

Tribune enterprise editor

— The number of building permits issued in Kokomo and Howard County through the first five months of the year is running at a similar pace as in 2012, when the number of permits rebounded following the downturn in the economy.

A total of 125 permits have been issued in Kokomo with an estimated value of $16.7 million. For all of 2012, there were 425 permits issued with a value of $22.9 million.

There have been 13 building permits issued for the construction of new homes in Kokomo worth $1.7 million total. Nineteen new homes were constructed in the city in 2012 at a value of $3 million.

Of the 125 permits issued thus far in 2013, 70 were issued for the placement of temporary and permanent signs.

Greg Sheline, director of the Kokomo and Howard County Planning Departments, said he hopes the trend will continue for the remainder of the year.

“It has been steady,” he said. “We’re now in June when the building season starts. We get calls every week about zoning in the city and county. We hope the upward trend continues.”

Sheline said the large number of sign permanents being requested is a good indication that owners are spending money to upgrade their businesses, something not done during the past two or three years.

“The number of new home construction permits is a good sign,” he said. “That’s starting to be the trend nationally. People are more confident that the local economy is on the right track.”

Sheline said in 2009 there were only one or two permits issued for new house construction.

“We’re not where we want to be,” he said, “but it has been improving in recent years.”

A permit for a nursing home on South Dixon Road valued at $9 million was issued to Mainstreet Property Group. It is the single most valuable project permit issued so far this year.

Other major permits include: Construction of housing for veterans on East Jackson Street by the Family Service Association, at a cost of $2.8 million; Construction of a school athletic building with an estimated cost of $1.5 million on South Berkley Road to the Kokomo-Center schools; a $325,000 mini-warehouse on South Goyer Road; construction of two townhouses, at an estimated cost of $545,000 to Bona Vista on South Plate Street; and a new office and storage building for the Center Township Trustee on North Union Street at a cost of $100,000.

There have been 42 permits issued in Howard County with an estimated value of $2 million, including the construction of five houses valued at $928,000.

Last year 13 new homes were constructed in the county with a total value of $3.7 million.

A total of 45 building permits were issued in the city of Tipton with an estimated value of $1.7 million. That included two houses estimated at $398,000 total.

The Tipton Plan Commission has issued 19 permits for flood restoration work as a result of the April 19 flooding in the amount of $291,082.

“The mayor waived the fee for flood restoration,” Steve Edson, planning director, said. “It’s been a good start to the year.”

A permit was issued for the construction of the Tractor Supply store in the Carter Mall at a cost of $525,000 and for expansion of Dan Young Chevrolet in the amount of $255,000.

There have been 35 permits issued by the Tipton County Plan Commission with an estimated value of $2 million. Four new homes are being constructed for an estimated total of $890,000.

E.ON Climate & Renewables received three permits for the placement of wind metering towers at an estimated cost of $195,000.

Two towers will be placed in Jefferson Township and one in Wildcat Township for the possible development of wind farms.

Last year 167 permits were issued in the county with a total estimated value of $23.8 million, which included permits for 68 wind turbines east of Windfall.