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FEDA releases first-quarter report

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Economic Development Authority released its first-quarter report for the year 2021. Compared to last year there has been an increase in the three categories of building permits, planning and zoning permits and land disturbance permits.

Under the building permits in the residential category, in each subcategory, the numbers have doubled. In additions and alterations saw 17, maintenance was at 51 and 68 total residential permits. Economic Development Coordinator Linsey Preuss said that those numbers were exciting.

In additions and alterations, maintenance and total residential permits the numbers increased. In the first quarter, there were 13 additions and alterations and 13 total commercial permits. the total value commercial totaled roughly $1.36 million.

“I am excited to see these numbers,” Preuss said. “Obviously we want to see more construction happening in our community because that means our community is growing. So we want to see more activity than less activity.”

Another increase has been in land disturbance permits. In 2020 after the first quarter, there was one land disturbance permit. In the first quarter of 2021, there were five land disturbance permits.

FEDA also has awarded five loans to local businesses in the first quarter. Four of those loans have been CARES loans and one a Micro Loan.

The most important thing to Preuss is always knowing what’s coming. In the quarterly report, there is a category of economic development projects in the pipeline. The department has been contacted by 22 new entrepreneurs and numerous existing businesses in the first quarter. Preuss said that these numbers were well above pre-COVID numbers.

Many of these inquiries have requested assistance and are currently considering and planning projects. Some have looked into relocating into a different space. Some might be looking at expanding and purchasing a piece of equipment that could require some funding. Another thing could be general business assistance such as a business being affected by COVID and which steps and programs should that business take.

Preuss said she anticipates the numbers to increase in the second quarter due to the weather and is excited to see these numbers.

Preuss’s message to the community is one of praise and optimism.

“There is high confidence in the local economy,” Preuss said. “The project pipeline of potential future projects is strong and I look forward to helping them become reality.”

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