January 27, 2015 - 10:30 AM
VERNON - The City of Vernon is boasting its highest number of housing starts in six years.
There were 255 housing starts in 2014, the highest number since 2008, which saw 368 starts. Meanwhile, overall building permit values jumped to $93 million, almost doubling the $50 million in 2013. It’s all good news in the eyes of the city’s director of community development Kim Flick.
“We’re really excited about that, partly because the development we saw last year wasn’t about a couple big ticket projects, it was really strong development all throughout,” Flick says. “We’re really encouraged by that and hopeful the trend will continue.”
Vernon has worked at diversifying its housing stock and expanding opportunities in recent years, and it seems to be working, Flick says.
“We think we’re in a good spot to move forward, but a lot of factors are beyond our control,” she says. “We’re hoping we can weather the current oil prices.”
Last year exceeded the city’s projections, and that will have a welcome effect on the budget, Flick says. Excess revenue from 2014 will go into a reserve fund to be drawn on in the future.
“It’s good news,” Coun. Brian Quiring says of the building permit values. “The economy has turned around and hopefully this little blip with the oil prices isn't going to turn us back into a recession.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015