Residential, commercial and industrial development in the region decreased through 2019 according to a report presented to the Town of Virden on Tuesday.
Trans Canada West Planning District building inspector and development officer Cory Nixon presented the organization’s annual report at this week’s regular council meeting. Nixon told councillors that the district - which represents both the Town of Virden and the Rural Municipality of Wallace-Woodworth - had just four new dwellings constructed out of 79 building permits issued through last year. The total permits dropped from 96 in 2018.
Monetarily, it’s was a 60 per cent decrease in development from $15.5 million in 2018 to $6.1 million last year.
The town itself had 41 permits signed out, totalling $1.414 million. Most of that was commercial development, which had 16 permits totalling $690,400 in construction. There were 23 residential projects valued at $279,840, and one institutional project involving a portable classroom totalled $274,000.
The R.M. of Wallace-Woodworth, meanwhile, had a total of $4.695 million via 38 permits issued in 2019. There were 18 residential projects valued at $1.859 million, while the agriculture sector followed with $1.172 million on 11 permits. There was $1.06 million worth of work on commercial property, $192,000 in the “Other” category and $16,000 for institutional.
“There are two primary factor for the development value being less than 2018, the first being there were 17 less permits issued district wide in 2019,” Nixon told the Empire-Advance the following day. “Second, there were three larger projects in 2018 that accounted for $8,138,300 of the 2018 development value.”
This trio of projects built in 2018 included a hog barn and an agricultural shop constructed in the rural municipality, and a daycare facility established in Virden.
Property transferred to school district
Later in the meeting, councillors passed the second and third readings of a bylaw to close three back lanes and a portion of Fourth Avenue South where Goulter School is currently located.
The property involved will see the title for a surveyed street and lane easement move to the Fort La Bosse School Division.
Goulter School was built in the mid-1950s. It was expanded to accommodate special education, music, computer and Kindergarten needs.
Today, Goulter houses Elementary School students from Kindergarten to Grade 4 and sits directly in the path of Fourth Avenue South should it have been completed.
The bylaw’s first reading passed on Dec. 3. No provincial agencies objected to the title transfer and there was no known negative public response since that time.
Nixon told councillors that the matter was simply a matter of “cleaning the books.”