City collects highest building permit revenue since 2005

The Aberdeen Building Department collected $601,409 in permit revenues last year, the second largest amount in the past 10 years, the city’s building and code compliance director Bob Waite said.

The amount is “probably the second biggest ever” said Waite, who has worked for the department for 34 years.

In all, the department issued 1,305 permits last year with a construction valuation of more than $65 million.

Three projects topped the list of revenue generators last year: new construction of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math building at Grays Harbor College in South Aberdeen, the remodel and addition to Walmart at Olympic Gateway Plaza and the remodeling of Grays Harbor Community Hospital’s cafe and kitchen on Anderson Drive.

All three came in at once, after delays in planned construction, Waite said.

The best year ever was likely in 2005, when the department issued 1,379 permits on $77 million in construction valuation for $633,780 in permit revenue. The hospital, the college and the construction of the new Aberdeen High School led to that record amount, he said.

The worst year for permitting revenue followed several years of recession, when the city collected $242,283 on slightly more than $9 million of construction in 2012.

The 10-year average, from 2004 and 2013, is 1,392 permits, $394,103.39 from $29.6 million in construction.

The city collected more than the average in 2005, 2010 and 2013. The city collected less in all others.

The report, prepared by permit technician Sherry Hammel, was released recently and addressed to Mayor Bill Simpson and the City Council.

Other notable construction projects of last year are the rent-to-own Aaron’s store which shares space with Verizon at 1212 and 1210 E. Wishkah St., a second level office addition to Pasha Automotive at 1620 E. Terminal Way and tenant improvements for new retailers: Desert Sun Tanning and Polar Berry Yogurt at 1029 E. Wishkah, Suites B and C.

A total of three new single family dwellings and one mobile home were also authorized, the report noted.

In addition to permitting and coordinating building and other city inspections, the building department also runs the city’s abatement program. Waite and Hammel both said repair of buildings is preferred and that was the majority of the activity.

The city did demolish three buildings: a storm damaged dwelling at 613 Stewart Blvd., the fire damaged and vacant Grays Harbor Motors building at 1521 Simpson Ave. and the old Portway gas station at 1100 W.. Market St.

The Office of Code Enforcement received and investigated 458 public nuisance complaints last year. They mainly concerned the condition of private property as well as inoperable or abandoned vehicles on city streets.

“The majority of these nuisance complaints, as in previous years, continue to deal with garbage complaints, overgrown vegetation, and abandoned vehicles,” the letter signed by Waite says.


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