Construction sees slow, steady growth

Craig's valuations, building permit numbers up slightly from last year

Valuations and the number of building permits in Craig may be a little higher this year than 2004, according to current city numbers.

That's a healthy sign for growth, said Dave Costa, Craig's community development director.

"We do about 50 to 60 houses in Craig a year, and that shows a positive, steady growth," he said. "You don't want a boom. You want to fill hosing as it comes."

Total construction valuations were a little more than $7 million in 2004. Total valuations are more than $3.5 million so far this year.

A spokesman for Elam Construction said it seems as if construction growth is picking up in the area, considering an increase in the business's projects. The company specializes in laying asphalt for driveways, parking lots and streets.

"It's definitely growing," he said. "You get the sense that the economy is starting to boom."

Elam's spokesman, who didn't want to be identified because the company is going through some litigation, said the shift toward an increase in construction should spill into next year. Company officials are giving a number of estimate requests for future projects.

"I see that people in this county think things are on the upturn because of the pipeline coming through and coal mining and all the gas and oil," he said. "There's an overflow from Steamboat Springs that has this area energized."

Some positive growth projections in Craig include about $1 million in valuation for a new bowling alley and some new residential subdivisions, Costa said.

Although the construction phase hasn't yet begun, the city has approved 21 residential structures in the Pine Ridge area, in the western part of Craig. It will include four-plex and duplex structures.

"I guess you could say it's fairly substantial for Craig," Costa said.

In general, all the buildable lots in Craig are filled, he said.

That is telling people that there's a need for sites, Costa said.

The coming of Murdoch's, a farm and ranch supply store, also indicates growth. The store is moving into the former Country General on U.S. Highway 40 and Moffat County Road 7. Although renovations on the building won't affect city valuations much, the business will be good for the area.

"Murdoch's is exciting," he said. "I think with their market study, it must show it will bring substantial dollars."

Five hundred building permits were issued last year with revenues of $113,581. That's compared with 191 building permits issued so far this year with revenues of $46,712.

Building permits include approval for new homes and buildings, as well as building additions and upgrades.

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