Thousands of dollars in construction permits to boost Williamsport economy

Building permits, the first step someone must take to begin a construction project in the city, are on the increase, city officials said.

“We have several ongoing construction projects or those about to begin,” said Joseph Gerardi, city Bureau of Codes administrator.

The city averages $250,000 up to $300,000 a year in revenue from building permits, he said.

That’s slightly less than a third of a mill of real estate tax, according to the city budget.

For any building project that is estimated to be $10,000 or over the applicant is required to pay a $141 fee, plus $15 for each additional $1,000, according to city code.

Last year, revenue from permits was on the lower end — with COVID-19 pandemic postponing some projects — and this year it was conservatively budgeted at $250,000, Gerardi said.

“We have about seven projects underway,” he said, mentioning some of the larger ones.

“There’s a 34-unit apartment complex on Campbell Street being done by Hutchinson LLC,” he said. The construction firm indicated it is a $4 million investment.

Lycoming College continues to plan its $5.1 million hall on East Fourth Street, which is scheduled to open in fall 2022. That’s a part of the resurgence in the East Third Street Old City Gateway Redevelopment area, Gerardi said.

The Door Fellowship, 470 Pine St., is renovating its interior office space, Gerardi said.

Wendy’s, on Maynard Street, has done an overhaul of its building.

Military monuments and their foundations for installation required permits at Veterans Memorial Park at West Fourth Street and Wahoo Drive, Gerardi said.

Privately, too, many homeowners are applying for building permits, despite the increase in the cost of building materials such as lumber, he said.

He noted that was a strange phenomenon considering the jump in materials costs such as lumber and steel.

“It may just be because it’s summer,” Gerardi said.

Mayor Derek Slaughter also expressed an upbeat response to the building construction trend.

“I am very pleased to see the number of projects we have taking place in the city,” he said.

“As I continue to work on a number of current and ongoing projects, my administration is committed to our local businesses and working families to ensure they are on solid footing coming out of the pandemic.”

“Our infrastructure and economic development plans will continue to improve Williamsport and have a positive impact on our city for many years to come,” Slaughter added.


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