Janesville45.1°

Number of new homes mirror 2006

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GINA R. HEINE
December 16, 2007
— Speculation about the economy and the subprime mortgage crisis are having an effect on residential construction in Evansville, City Administrator Dan Wietecha said.

“A negative, depressing effect on the locally economy,” he said, “whether it’s looking directly at a builder or subcontractor. I know they’re definitely hurting.”


The number of residential building permits in Evansville this year likely will come in close to the 2006 total of 28.


So far this year, the city issued 28 residential permits, fewer than the boom of 2004 and 2005 when the city issued 103 and 90 permits, respectively.


School officials are watching the trend closely.


Growth in the Evansville School District could push the district to build classrooms.


Evansville’s estimated 2007 population is 4,900, according to state figures. The city’s Smart Growth Plan, which includes limits on building permits, is based on the city growing to 7,000 residents by 2025, Wietecha said.


“There are some people out there that want to point fingers, blame a lot of things on all the new houses, costs are high and it must be these peoples’ fault,” he said. “We can add almost 70 houses a year and meet the smart growth number. To say, ‘Hey, we’re moving too fast,’ we can grow two to three times as fast and still meet the numbers.”


Click here to read about a possible land purchase by the Evansville School District

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