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Building blitz in Blackfalds

If residential growth is an indicator of economic health, the town of Blackfalds is hale and hearty.

As of June 30, the community had generated $65.3 million worth of building permits for home construction and related projects for 2014. That compares with $57.7 million for residential approvals in Red Deer, which has more than 10 times Blackfalds’ population.

In fact, the value of residential development approved in Blackfalds from January to June exceeded that of Sylvan Lake, Lacombe, Olds, Penhold, Ponoka and Rocky Mountain House combined.

Terry Topolnitsky, Blackfalds’ planning and development manager, said the town has become a popular destination for home-buyers, especially those with young families. And builders are hard-pressed to keep pace.

“In most cases, any of the subdivisions that we have that are being serviced right now are already sold,” said Topolnitsky.

Blackfalds has also issued $9.5 million worth of permits for work in the institutional category, thanks to a proposed new elementary school. Commercial and industrial projects have added $8.5 million and $5.7 million respectively, for a combined six-month total of just under $89 million. That’s $10 million ahead of Red Deer’s January-to-June cumulative tally of $78.5 million.

Keeping the paper moving has been a challenge, acknowledged Topolnitsky.

“There were some days when it was a little tough.”

The town recently hired another development officer to help.

“I get to concentrate a little more on the major projects and also the subdivisions and area structure plans and the general planning,” said Topolnitsky.



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