Just in case you missed it on Valentine's Day, a story in The News-Times pointed out that Columbia County's housing permit numbers made an astonishing rebound in 2009.
After falling slightly to just 632 permits in 2008, the county registered 962 permits in 2009 - a 52 percent increase.
"I was surprised," Columbia County Development Services Director Richard Harmon told staff writer Jenna Martin. "I would have thought we would have probably maintained what we did in 2008."
Keep in mind; these numbers are just for single-family homes; they don't include the new apartment complexes that have popped up in the Evans area.
The steep rise is a sharp contrast to the 32 percent drop in commercial building permits last year. But because commercial building typically follows the "rooftops" of residential construction, it's safe to predict commercial numbers will pick up this year in response.
All this activity leads to a couple of conclusions:
• First, depending on what mischief Washington could still make with the economy, it appears our community is leading the way out of the recent economic doldrums. The new nuclear plant construction at Plant Vogtle is fantastic news in this regard.
• Second, all those new rooftops here are going to increase the need for classrooms - which makes it essential that local residents get informed on the school system's ambitious building plan designed to cope with that demand.
Columbia County continues to grow, and coping with that growth must be the No. 1 job of every county official.
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