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Logan permits up for first time in 5 years

(Herald Journal) The number of building permits Logan city issued in 2009 was less than half what it was five years before, but figures indicate the slide may be over.

The city issued 97 permits for new residential construction in 2009, virtually the same as in 2008. That ends a five-year skid — in 2007 the city issued 171 permits for new residential building. Overall, the city issued 363 building permits of all types in 2009. It’s the first time the figure has ticked up in five years.

“New development is happening ... things look promising,” Logan’s Community Development Director Jay Nielson said by phone Wednesday, noting that the city Planning Commission this week had its busiest meeting in recent memory.

While the number of permits issued leveled out last year, the value of construction in Logan continued plummeting, to $41.6 million in 2009. Values peaked in 2006 with a total valuation of $101.5 million but were down to $96.3 million in 2007 and $69.8 million in 2008.

Logan’s multi-year downturn in new construction permits mirrors the recession, and as permits for new work have dropped, permits for remodeling existing structures has risen during the economic downturn.

The building permit figures correspond with job losses in that industry — Cache Valley lost 23 percent of its construction jobs from November 2008 to November 2009, according to a recent report of the Associated General Contractors of America (ACG). The year-over-year decline ranks the Logan area 16th among metropolitan areas in the U.S. that have lost the most construction jobs.

The number of construction jobs in the valley now is 47 percent fewer than in 2007, according to ACG figures.

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