City Permit and Inspections Department Starts New Year Off With Record Month
January was a busy month for the Permit and Inspections Department as purchasing commercial and residential building permits appear to be on a steady incline. Though there has been an increase in permits purchased for both purposes, the amount of residential building permits in January 2021 has nearly doubled compared to this time last year. Inspections Manager Rick Mefford is optimistic that this increase indicates the city of Valdosta’s continued upward trend of growth and development during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Last January (2020), The Permit and Inspection Department had 38 new residential home permits purchased; however in January (2021) builders purchased a total of 64 new residential home permits. Of course, this increase keeps the inspectors very busy with completing anywhere from 50 to 70 inspections a day. The extra workflow has even required Mefford himself to assist with inspections on occasion as the department is determined to keep performing same-day inspections for the community.
As far as who is purchasing these permits, Mefford says that he has noticed an array of people from out of state flocking to South Georgia. Of course, some of this is due to the expansion of new business in the area and thus new employment opportunities. Companies like Arglass, for example, have been in search of new workers to join their team since breaking ground in 2019. “Jobs are coming to the area, which is always helpful, but I think some of it also has to do with a lot of local and out-of-town folks building new homes,” said Mefford. The COVID Pandemic has played a role as well now that people want to get out of larger cities to live in more spacious areas.
With COVID effecting so many aspects of our day-to-day lives, Mefford is rejoiced to see the city expanding through this challenging time. The department has also received many commercial plans and remodels submitted. “Looking at our numbers, it seems like the city is still progressing and doing well. We are looking for an upward trend, and that is what it seems to be doing. This is a positive, both commercial and residential-wise. The future is looking good right now,” said Mefford.
Mefford offers one last piece of advice to anyone interested in building or remolding projects, and that is always to hire a licensed contractor. If you are unaware if your contractor is licensed, residents can always call the Inspections Department so that they can inform you whether they are.
For more information on building permits, please call the City of Valdosta’s Inspections Department at (229) 259-3506.