by Lisa Tome
When it comes to construction in Cecil County, 2013 was slightly better than the previous fiscal year, but was down from the three prior years.
"As much as everyone is saying the economy is improving, it's not," said Director of Cecil's Department of Permits and Inspections Patrick Conway. "The state and national (reports) say things are improving. We don't see that here."
Building permits for fiscal year 2013, which wrapped up June 30, indicate that 1,579 permits were issued by the department in a 12-month span.
Single family homes totaled 188. That number was 28 greater than in fiscal year 2012. In 2011, there were 198 single family home permits issued. In fiscal year 2010, there were 220.
"The days of 50 or 60 houses a month are gone," said Conway.
Conway said that a current trend in Cecil County is construction and renovation of apartments, also known as work force housing.
People are also staying put.
Residents are still continuing to improve the home they have. There were 406 permits issued for residential additions.
"Fixing up what you have is steady," said Conway.
He said that the growth projected due to BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) from New Jersey didn't come to fruition in Cecil. "I don't know that we'll ever see BRAC. I do see more Jersey tags here now. I don't know whether they are apartment dwellers or commuters," said Conway.
Building permits issued within the incorporated towns for fiscal year 2013:
Charlestown - 51
Perryville - 32
North East - 29
Cecilton - 14
Chesapeake City - 13
Port Deposit - 10
Rising Sun and Elkton handle their own permitting.