Local News

West Grey sees record growth with building projects during pandemic

Story by: Kayla Kreutzberg

Photo from: Mayor Christine Robinson

The Municipality of West Grey continues to grow with improved building project numbers.

Over the last three years, there’s been an increase in the value of projects as well as the number of permits issued in the municipality.

West Grey Mayor Christine Robinson said in 2018 the value of projects was $30.7 million, and that represented 290 permits issued, and in 2019 the project value was $39.9 million, which represented 291 permits issued.

“And just last year in 2020 we saw $41,442, 592 ($41.4 million), and there was an all-time high here of 299 permits issued,” Robinson said.

Mayor Robinson said the pandemic did not slow down construction in West Grey last year, it in fact increased it.

She said the municipality received multiple applications from property owners who were at home and wanting to complete small additions, or renovations for decks, pools and fences.

Robinson said last year, the municipality also launched their online electronic permitting software.

“The software’s called cloud permit and that provided the applicants ability to apply for a building permit online, and all plans could be reviewed and completed by our inspectors working from home,” Robinson said.

Robinson said that in 2020, inspectors saw an obstacle with the province revising some of the rules during the pandemic, and that presented a challenge for the municipality and contractors to keep up with the required safety protocols.

She said that it was managed and the municipality has a dynamic building department led by West Grey’s chief building official, Karl Schipprack.

Mayor Robinson said in 2020, 85 per cent of the building permits issued were residential and 13 per cent were agricultural.

Robinson said all indications show that 2021 will be a very busy residential construction year.

“With the lockdown lifted for all construction projects as of last week, we have seen an increase in phone calls and building permit applications already,” Robinson said joyfully.

Robinson said if no further restrictions are placed on residential construction this year, the municipality will be busier than last year.

She added that growth translates into a stronger economy and contributes to a vibrant community, and West Grey is investment and newcomer ready.