NB official hoping building trend continues

Last year was a good year for building in the city of North Branch.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, North Branch building official Rich Meyer told the council 41 single-family units — which include houses and townhomes — were constructed in the city last year.

That’s the most the city has seen in a single year in about six years.

In 2006, 29 single-family dwellings were built in the city; the following year that number decreased by two, and building had been relatively stagnant in North Branch until about the past two years.

“We’re kinda back to or above those levels, which is good,” Meyer said.

Meyer also noted one new commercial building was constructed in the city last year, and 204 other building permits were issued for construction on already existing homes and businesses for projects like plumbing fixes, septic systems repairs and the construction of sheds.

Meyer said it could be another productive year for new construction in the city.

“The contractors and builders I’ve been talking to seem to think that we’re going to have another big summer,” he said.  “People are optimistic, anyway, so hopefully this will continue.”

 

Other council actions

• A proposal to split the cost of a mailing machine between the city and the North Branch Water and Light Commission failed on a 2-2 vote. Mayor Ron Lindquist was absent for the meeting.

• The council voted unanimously to increase the city building official’s hours from 36 to 40.

• Fire Chief Kevin Grote gave his annual report for 2013 and presented the city with a check for $35,000 from the North Branch Fire Department Relief Association’s charitable gambling funds. To date, he said the association has donated $103,000 to the city.

“It has helped us; it has helped the city,” Grote said.

• Richard Hill, the city’s finance director, gave his 2013 financial report and said the city fell right in line with its projected expectations last year.

• The council voted 3-1 to appoint the Chisago-Isanti County Star as the city’s official newspaper. Councilmember Kathy Blomquist voted for the Post Review.

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