Editor’s note: First in a series of stories reviewing 2013 through various departmental statistics and numbers.
The number of building permits issued in St. Clair last year jumped by about 23 percent with increases in home construction, remodeling or expansion one of the key factors.
Another significant reason for the increase was the push to use solar power.
Building Inspector Jeremy Crowe told The Missourian that the numbers have him optimistic heading into 2014. He said he expects some commercial and retail growth this year as well as the expansion and revitalization of existing industrial corporations and sustaining growth of new construction homes.
One-hundred-eighty-five building permits were issued by the city in 2013 compared to 151 the year before. In 2011, the number was 108. In 2010, 137 were issued.
As far as home construction or areas related to that, Crowe said there were nine permits issued last year for new homes compared to only one in 2012. One of the 2013 permits ended up being revoked, leaving the count at eight.
Two of the new construction permits were for duplexes.
Total remodeling permits increased from 14 to 21 while home additions jumped from two to six.
Remodeling permits include residential, commercial, industrial and institutional.
There were no new commercial buildings constructed last year compared to one in 2012, statistics showed.
On the solar array front, four businesses took advantage of Ameren Missouri’s rebate program and installed the alternative energy panels on roofs. R&R Ace Hardware was the first to take the solar plunge, and it was followed by St. Clair Health Mart Pharmacy, Dollar Plus and NAPA Auto Parts.
As this year unfolds, the city itself, the St. Clair Fire Protection District and the St. Clair R-XIII School District all are expected to jump on the solar bandwagon.
In all, according to statistics from the inspector’s office, permit fees totaled $21,682.92 last year. The estimated costs of all the projects requiring the permits was $3.564 million.
The most popular permit in 2013, by far, was for excavation as 61 were issued. That accounts for about one-third of total permits issued.
There were 20 electrical permits issued, 14 for windows or siding, 11 for fences and 10 for roofing. Others include three for decks, two for garages, sheds and storage facilities and one for a porch.
In 2012, 31 permits were issued for excavations, mainly for water and sewer lines, 15 were for roof projects, 12 for fences and three for garages.
A significant permit for the city of St. Clair last year was the one issued for the new spray park. It was built and opened in the spring and enjoyed a successful first year.