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LU Projects Give Building Permit Boost

FARMVILLE – Building permit volume boomed in the Town of Farmville last year-December, 2011 through last month-though fewer permits were issued.

Major projects, all directly or indirectly related to Longwood University, were responsible for quadrupling the total projects cost, and hence building permit fees, over the previous year.

“Last year you had a little over $9 million in building permits last year,” Town Manager Gerald Spates told Town Council during a work session update, regarding the total cost of building projects in town, “versus $36 million this year at the same time.”

The period of December 2010 through November 2011 saw 361 building permits issued for projects totaling $9.1 million. The Town of Farmville received $56,371 in building permit fees for those projects.

From December 2011 through the end of last month, 271 building permits were issued for projects totaling $36.6 million. The Town received $92,299 in building permit fees for those projects, an increase of more than $37,000 over the previous 12-month period.

Spates noted the three major projects responsible for the increase: the apartment construction at the former Newman Tire Co. site, renovation to French Hall on the LU campus, and a major student housing project at Lancer Village, off Third Street.

Farmville Mayor Sydnor C. Newman, Jr., was pleased to learn the Town receives building permit fees from Longwood University projects, even though it is state-owned.

“We don't get any building permit fees from Longwood do we?” he asked.

“Oh, yeah, we do,” Spates answered. “Plus, you get business license (fees) from the contractors.”

And that's not all.

“Then we get tap fees,” the town manager added.

Tap fees are a major source of construction-related revenue for the Town.<br />
“Tap fees alone for (the Midtown Square project) was 600 and some thousand dollars,” Spates estimated, recalling from memory.

In a category by category comparison:

There were 121 building permits during last 12 months for single-family homes, compared with 167 the previous year.

There were 31 permits for multi-family apartments versus 10.

Building permits for businesses totaled 59, and there were 102 the previous 12-month period.

Building permits for churches remained the same, 10 for each 12-month period.

Building permits for hospitals or nursing homes totaled eight, compared with 11 previously.