SPEARFISH — It didn’t top Spearfish’s 2017’s record-breaking building project valuations record, but 2018 was another busy year for the building inspection department with $48,873.345.57 in total project valuation — the third-highest in the city’s history — with 396 various types of building permits issued.
“This is great news for the city of Spearfish,” Building Official Tom Paisley said. He explained that the numbers for total project valuation come from an estimated cost of each project that requires a building permit. Permits are required for new buildings, additions, alterations and repairs.
“Once again this year we saw a good balance of both residential and commercial projects,” Paisley said. Overall, the city issued residential permits for 109 new residential units, which included 60 single-family dwellings and 49 apartment units.
“This is nine more residential units than we had in 2018,” Paisley said.
There also were a variety of commercial building permits issued, including 21 new commercial building permits for businesses such as the new McDonald’s restaurant, Lookout Mountain Plaza, The Granary District, Sawyer Brewing, Creekside Bistro, Jake’s Auto Body, the Pub at Miller Creek at Elkhorn Ridge Golf course, and more.
“SEDC (Spearfish Economic Development Corp.) is extremely encouraged by the strong 2018 building permit valuations,” Kory Menken, SEDC executive director, said. “This is another indication that the Spearfish economy remains healthy and is moving in the right direction. Based on our current prospect activity, we anticipate 2019 could be yet another exciting year for our community.”
To compare, in 2017, the city saw a record $51,989,447.50 total building project valuation, representing 439 various types of building permits.
In 2016, the building project valuations totaled $43,778,969.81, with 453 permits issued; in 2015, the total building project valuations was $46,350,137.83, with 458 permits issued. The city hit its previous record in 2014, with total valuation of $49,103,173, reflecting 513 total permits. In 2013, there was approximately $36 million in total valuation, and construction valuations totals were close in 2010, 2012, and 2013, with a dip in 2011, reflecting 44 new single-family homes and total construction valuation around $18.7 million. Since 1991, the next closest record for total new construction value was 2004, at approximately $44 million.
“2019 is also looking like it will be another busy year,” Paisley said. “There are several new developments underway, and there will be more buildable lots with the extended development of Evans Addition, more lots in The Reserve on Higgins Creek, and more lots at Elkhorn Ridge Golf Estates. We have issued several permits for single-family dwellings at Top Shelf Addition, The Reserve, and Elkhorn Ridge. Our first permit of 2019 was issued (Wednesday) for an eight-unit apartment in the Reserve Addition.”
Paisley added that in January, the city will be adopting the 2018 edition of the International Building Code, residential code, fire code, mechanical code, property maintenance code, existing building code, and mechanical code.
“It is important for us to adopt the most recent editions of these codes to ensure that new construction in our community is built to the most recent standards for fire and life safety,” he said, explaining that the public has an expectation of building safety. “That expectation of safety is a result of what building officials and inspectors do every day. We strive to make the building permit process as easy as we can. Plans are submitted and reviewed for code compliance. After the plans have been approved, then our inspectors perform several inspections during the construction phase which include structural, HVAC, fire, plumbing, and final inspections prior to occupancy.”
Paisley added that Spearfish is fortunate to have a knowledgeable team of professionals who have several years of experience in construction and code compliance.
“We also work very well other city offices which include Planning and Zoning, Engineering, and Flood Plain, along with the State Electrical Commission, State Plumbing Commission, State Health Department, State Fire Marshall and South Dakota DENR (Department of Energy and Natural Resources),” he said. “It is a team effort that provides minimum standards for safety in the built environment. We are also fortunate to have some very incredible contractors in our area that make our jobs easier.”
Paisley complimented his staff for their work in 2018.
“I am grateful for these folks every day; they do an exceptional job,” he said. “It is important for the public to realize the importance of Building Inspection. We enforce minimum building code standards to ensure the homes we live in and the businesses we enter are safe.”
Written by Kaija Swisher and reprinted by permission of the Black Hills Pioneer