City basks in record building year for 2017

By James Peters
January 10, 2018 - 10:39am

KAMLOOPS — The City of Kamloops has confirmed it ended December with a record level of building activity for the year.

Construction permits totalling $224.1 million were processed in 2017 compared to $157.7 million in 2016.

Building and Development Manager Jason Dixon says residential construction was strong, but other sectors saw bigger boosts.

"We were up to $149 million residentially, from $125.3 million the year before," said Dixon. "But I think the bigger increase was the commercial/institutional/industrial (sector). We went up to $64.7 million in 2017, compared to $25.6 million in 2016."

Dixon says the record year bodes well for the local economy, and was far greater than what his department had predicted.

"We projected $180 million or $185 million for 2017. You don't want to overshoot it too much. I think we were quite confident that we would achieve that, but I never really expected to get to $200 million, let alone $224 million. It exceeded our expectations quite a bit," said Dixon.

The flip side of the coin was a busy development department, resulting in some impatient builders waiting to have their permits approved.

"For the bulk of the year we did pretty good," noted Dixon. "It's been really hard on the bigger projects, the commercial stuff, to keep up just with that volume of work and the size of the projects. It's definitely hard to get through all that in as timely (a manner) as everybody would like all the time. But we do our best."

As for 2018, Dixon predicts another busy year, particularly if several bigger projects get off the ground.

"Some more apartment building-type projects. The residential component of The Reach up at TRU will probably get going. Possibly, if schedules work all right, we might see the beginning of the Patient Care Tower at RIH. The nursing building at TRU we may see in 2018. So if some of those go ahead as expected, we could see a pretty health year in 2018 as well," said Dixon.

Five, including mayor Christian, seeking re-election this fall, three others undecided