County sees growth in development

ALAMOSA — Over the past three years construction in Alamosa County has been on the rise.

During Wednesday's commissioner meeting Alamosa County Building Inspector Jinger Tilden presented a year-end report that stated the county saw 114 building permits in 2017, up from 2016's 95.

"We're definitely growing, which is a good thing," Tilden said.

That number counts both residential and commercial projects, including the county's own work on the new justice center and jail expansion. Since the county waives permit fees for itself construction costs increased by $20,839,854 from 2016 while fees collected dropped by $10,252.

2017 saw 49 new addresses issued, partly due to a record high of 12 subdivisions being approved, while 2016 had 40 new addresses and 2015 had only 25. However, septic permits went down from 34 to 21 in the past year. Tilden believes that it means people focus on the initial funding to start the project.

"Usually they'll build the home and install the septic afterwards so I'm anticipating in 2018 that our septic permits will go a lot higher," said Tilden.

Of the 114 permits, eight were commercial projects and 106 were residential. While manufactured homes stayed roughly the same—nine in 2016 and seven in 2017—site built homes increased from eight to 12. The remaining permits were for 14 pole barns and 73 various accessories and alterations such as fences and decks.

"People are building, which is huge because it's a little more expensive to do a site built home than it is to do a manufactured home," Tilden said. "Our economy is healthy."