Washoe County Building Permits Up 14.5% in Fiscal Year 2011; First Two Months of Fiscal Year 2012 Indicate Additional Increase

Washoe County’s Building and Safety Department Director Don Jeppson is pleased to report that building permit activity in the unincorporated areas of the County have been increasing, a positive economic sign for our community.

“We’re really happy to report that building permit revenues for the fiscal year 2011 which ended June 30th were up 14.5% over the previous year,” Jeppson said. “We know this is due to increased economic activity and not increased fees because we haven’t raised our permit fees for nearly 3 ½ years.”

Jeppson added that the first two months of fiscal year 2012 (July and August 2011) have also seen an increase of 20.5%, and August had the third highest month of revenues since September 2008. Quarterly revenues are on track to be the second quarter in a row with revenues actually exceeding expenditures. If that happens, it will be the first time since December 2004 of having two consecutive quarters ending with positive revenue gains.

Jeppson noted that all permit categories are up. Permits for new single family dwellings have already exceeded permit numbers for 2010 and 2009, and are on track to meet or exceed 2008 figures. While the total number of permits for single family dwellings in the unincorporated area of Washoe County is not large, this news appears to be another positive indicator that the economic may be recovering. More than 100,000 citizens reside in the unincorporated area of Washoe County—more than the population of the City of Sparks.

The County’s Building and Safety Department is an “enterprise fund” which means it is funded entirely from fees related to the services they provide; they receive no funding from the County’s general fund. During the recession when construction activity decreased, the Department was forced to drastically reduce expenses which included the elimination of positions as well as a reduction of office hours.

Media Note: Don Jeppson can be reached at 328-2030. He is available for interviews Friday, September 02, 2011 and Tuesday, September 6, 2011.