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Value of properties seeking permits has tripled thanks to BMH

If there are any doubts building is up in Oxford, building official Randy Barber cleared those up Monday night when he presented the year-end totals for permits and new construction during the Oxford Planning Commission meeting.

In 2015, 2,848 permits were issued for new residential and commercial construction, up from 2,340 permits in 2014.

Pulled permits

While the number of permits increased 21 percent in 2015, the value of the properties seeking permits tripled. In 2014, the valuation of the total number of construction projects applying for building permits was $98,592,026. In 2015, it jumped to $306,881,880.

“About $166 million is for the new Baptist (Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi) hospital, that pulled its permit in 2015,” Barber said.

Baptist only pulled the permits for the main building in 2015. Barber said it’s expected the hospital will pull building permits for the office building that is slated for the new hospital campus in 2016.

Even without the hospital’s permit, the value of property applying for permits was $140,881,880 last year, up 43 percent from 2014.

There were 148 permits pulled for single-family homes in 2015, up from 127 in 2014 with a valuation of about $29 million compared to $23 million in 2014.

Condominiums and townhouses dropped slightly in 2015 with 42 permits pulled with a $7.5 million value compared to 62 in 2014 with an $11.5 million value. However, apartments and duplexes jumped from 44 permits in 2014 to 203 in 2015.

Twenty-two permits were issued to demolish homes in 2015, compared to 16 in 2014.

Paid fees doubled

But the important numbers to the city are the amounts of fees paid for these permits. In 2015, the city collected $1,105,685 in permit fees, which was twice the amount collected in 2014, $599,090.

“Those funds go into the city’s general fund,” Barber said.

Mayor Pat Patterson said while the construction going on in Oxford points to growth and a strong local economy, more people, more houses, more roads often means more puzzles for city leaders to figure out.

“We continue to see growth in all sectors,” said Patterson. “That’s a good thing on one hand, and a difficult thing to manage on the other. We’re blessed to be in the position we are, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have issues we have to deal with (in relation to the growth).”

Barber said he doesn’t see things slowing down any time soon.

“We expect the numbers of permits to grow again in 2016,” Barber said.