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Construction on the rise in Brandon
Limited permits issued in Valley Springs
By By Alica P. Thiele
Challenger reporter

July 26. 2013 9:53AM
Brandon has issued building permits totaling almost twice as much since Jan. 1 as compared to the same time period a year ago. Last year at this time, the city had issued building permits totaling $4.53 million; this year, $8.19 million in permits have been issued since Jan. 1.

“The economy’s turned a little bit,” Brandon building inspector Dave Swier said. After months of record numbers of building permits issued in Sioux Falls, the growth is trickling out to surrounding communities, he said.

The biggest jump in building permits issued in Brandon came in the category of single family homes and twin homes, with permits issued for 33 units, worth $5.2 million, so far this year, compared to 13 units, worth $2.3 million, during the same time last year, according to reports issued by the Brandon Planning & Zoning Department.

Multi-family building also was up, with permits issued for 20 units, worth $1.5 million, so far this year compared to zero units built last year.

The homes will be helpful as machining and manufacturing company Marmen Energy comes to Brandon this summer. Over the next year, the company, based in Quebec, Canada, plans to hire 250 people for its Brandon plant, which will produce wind towers.
Swier said he thinks developers planned the city’s new homes before Marmen made its announcement this spring, but the company’s move to Brandon should spur more development.

“This fall, the city will get an influx of first time home buyers,” Swier predicted.

And while the city may not see the 100 homes this year that Brandon used to see annually, Swier said, “If we get to 50, it will be a good year.”

Marmen will be taking over a facility built by another company but never used. The company plans to build on two additions, though, and remodel office space within the building. Swier said he plans to issue that building permit soon, and it probably will be worth about $4 million.

That will be a huge boost to commercial development, which is lagging so far this year compared to last year. So far this year, $88,100 in permits have been issued for commercial development, compared to $1.06 million last year during the same time period.

Improvements to existing homes is comparable so far this year compared to the same timeframe last year. Garages, additions, remodels, decks, patios, fences, sheds,
reshingle and re-siding projects accounted for $1.32 million so far this year, compared to $1.15 million during the same timeframe last year.
Valley Springs
Valley Springs has issued 12 permits through the end of June this year, according to Finance Officer Sandy Severtson, compared to 18 permits issued from Jan. 1 through June 30 in 2012.

The total of the permits last year was $286,902, while this year’s total is $65,701.
Severtson said that is because permits for two homes were issued in Valley Springs during the first six months of last year. None have been issued so far this year.

“Hopefully they (developers) will come up with something, but not yet,” she said.

Permits issued so far this year have been for projects such as detached garages, reshingling and fencing, Severtson said.

Eric Timmer of Four Sons Construction of Rock Rapids, Iowa, works on a house being built on South Fifth Avenue in Brandon. The city has issued more than $5 million in single family and twin home building permits since Jan. 1. Photo by Alica P. Thiele

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