Building permits in NB: even the good news is bad

Building permit numbers in North Battleford are so disappointing in 2019 that even the good news is bad news.

How else to describe the latest numbers presented at City Hall on Monday at council.

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With one month to go, the city was reporting 82 permits issued for $10,942,300 through November. Both numbers were down from the 123 permits issued for $25,302,100 the year before.

The “good news” was that numbers from the last two months did allow the city to catch up a little bit in permit values. But it was actually a notorious “bad news” project that drove that spike in numbers for October.

In October, 10 permits were issued for $6,953,500, compared to 10 permits for $644,000 for the same month a year earlier. Driving the numbers were two institutional alteration permits issued for $5,248,000.

That seemed impressive, but Director of Planning and Development Jennifer Niesink explained the total includes the permit the city issued for replacement of the defective roof at Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford.

November numbers were back in the down category, as two permits were issued for $84,000, down from six permits for $1,015,000.

A steep decline in new commercial activity can be blamed for the decline in permit values from 2018 to 2019.

Six permits were issued for the first 11 months of 2018 for total value of $16,248,550, but that same category has posted a big zero so far in 2019 with one month to go.    


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