Dells contractors see steady 2012
January 08. 2013 2:30PM
The value of total building permits issued in Dell Rapids in 2012 was down from the previous year, but city officials say city coffers didn’t see a negative impact.
In 2012, 114 building permits were issued, including permits for new homes, new commercial buildings and fencing, valuing $4,142,815. Compared to the 122 permits valued at about $9.1 million in 2011, City Administrator Justin Weiland said 2012 might seem like a big drop at a glance. However, Weiland said large-scale, non-taxable construction projects in 2011, such as the addition to the Catholic Church and the high school gymnasium, inflated 2011 figures.
“Both of those total about $5.9 million together, so if you subtract those two large-scale commercial projects out, we’re running pretty close to what we did this year,” Weiland said. “If you’re comparing apples to apples, those are large scale projects that you don’t typically see every year.”
The city saw about $3.27 million worth of taxable construction projects in 2011.
Despite the drop in both building permits and the value of those projects, Weiland said 2012 building permits indicate a resurging economy and he pointed to the eight new home constructions, two multi-family projects and three new commercial buildings that all began construction last year.
“I would say that in this kind of recovering economy that we’re in, we’ve stayed really stable through it,” he said. “There’s a lot of towns our size that would kill for the kind of numbers that we have.”
Weiland said new construction projects still aren’t where they were before the recession hit in 2009, but the local economy has helped contractors and developers in Dell Rapids weather the economic storm better than most cities of similar size.
Because most construction in Dell Rapids is done by local companies, like Mark Crisp Construction and Mitch Adams Construction, who purchase materials locally as well, the local economy hasn’t seen the lows in activity seen other places.
“We’ve done pretty well in those years and the local contractors have been able to stay in business and build. What’s great about Dell Rapids is the majority of the homes that are built are built by local contractors who buy their lumber from our local lumber yard,” Weiland said. ”So we have this integrated economy of our own that some other communities (don’t).”
Mitch Adams, owner of Mitch Adams Construction, said 2012 was busy for him and his employees, and agreed that construction activities never came to a halt like it did other places when the economy slowed four years ago.
“It’s been a pretty good year. We were steady working all year long. We really didn’t have any downtime in 2012 at all,” he said. “We saw a slow down around 2009 and 2010. Then, we were a little bit slow but we kept busy. It was kind of a one year deal for myself, and every year it’s been picking back up.”
Adams said the local developers deserve most of the credit for continued growth in Dell Rapids because “they’re the ones that stuck their necks out and provided us the lots to build on.”
Jon Brown, a Dell Rapids native and president of Stockwell Engineers, has been a key player in the Spruce Glenn development and said the assets in Dell Rapids like the school system and hospital, as well as the city’s aesthetic appeal, make Dell Rapids a relatively easy place to invest in.
“Dells has got a wide variety of assets,” he said. “That’s attractive for people when they want to move to town, as far as what’s available for services. Dells just has a nice appeal to it. It’s looks very nice as you come into town.”
Weiland said all economic and anecdotal signs point to continued growth for Dell Rapids.
“We’ve got a lot of interest, still, in lots in town, in Spruce Glenn and the DIG development,” he said. There are folks asking about building permit costs and contractors figuring out set backs on lots and those kind of things, so we’re predicting, right now, we’ll have a pretty good 2013, too.”