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County building permits up



Washoe County’s Building and Safety Department Director Don Jeppson is pleased to report that building permit activity in the unincorporated areas of the County have been increasing, a positive economic sign for our community.

“We’re really happy to report that building permit revenues for the fiscal year 2011 which ended June 30th were up 14.5 percent over the previous year,” Jeppson said. “We know this is due to increased economic activity and not increased fees because we haven’t raised our permit fees for nearly three and a half years.”

Jeppson added that the first two months of fiscal year 2012 (July and August 2011) have also seen an increase of 20.5 percent, and August had the third highest month of revenues since September 2008. Quarterly revenues are on track to be the second quarter in a row with revenues actually exceeding expenditures. If that happens, it will be the first time since December 2004 of having two consecutive quarters ending with positive revenue gains.

Jeppson noted that all permit categories are up. Permits for new single family dwellings have already exceeded permit numbers for 2010 and 2009, and are on track to meet or exceed 2008 figures. While the total number of permits for single family dwellings in the unincorporated area of Washoe County is not large, this news appears to be another positive indicator that the economic may be recovering. More than 100,000 citizens reside in the unincorporated area of Washoe County—more than the population of Sparks.

The county’s Building and Safety Department is an “enterprise fund,” which means it is funded entirely from fees related to the services it provides; it receives no funding from the county’s general fund. During the recession when construction activity decreased, the department was forced to drastically reduce expenses which included the elimination of positions as well as a reduction of office hours.

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