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More building activity in Durham in 2016

The Region of Durham saw plenty of new construction last year.

According to the Annual Building Activity Report, included in the April 28 council information package, the total value of building permits in Durham Region was up 6.8 per cent in 2016 compared to the year before, coming to $1.6 billion. Most of that was for the residential sector, amounting to $1.3 billion, up 5.8 per cent.

Non-residential building permits were up 10.7 per cent, amounting to $361.6 million.

However, the number of housing starts did go down, dropping 10.7 per cent to 3,111 from 3,483 the year before.

These growth rates is in contrast to what was seen when looking at the Greater Toronto Area as a whole, with building permit values dropping 5.3 per cent to $18.3 billion. However, residential building permits did go up 3.3 per cent to $12.8 billion.


Region adding new public health inspector

Thanks to some new funding from Ontario Power Generation, the region will be bringing on another senior public health inspector to help support Durham’s potassium iodide (KI) pill distribution program.

Set for approval at the May 3 committee of the whole meeting and May 10 at regional council, the funding comes following the signing of a memorandum of understanding signed between OPG and the region last month for the prior to fund up to $225,000 per year for five years to support the KI pill distribution program.

The pills’ distribution is part of a directive from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, mandating that all homes and businesses within a 10-kilometre range of a nuclear generating station be provided with them.

Durham Region contains two nuclear generating stations: one in Pickering and the other in Darlington.

The pills work by reducing the risk of thyroid cancer in the event radioactive iodines are released.


Timetable set for 2018 budget process

It may have only been a couple of months since Durham Region passed its budget, but staff are already looking ahead to 2018’s spending plan.

According to a report to be presented at the May 3 meeting of the committee of the whole, the preliminary timetable for the 2018 regional budget has been set, starting on Oct. 11, when the property tax budget guideline will be presented to council.

On Dec. 13, council will be voting on the water and sewer budget for 2018. On Feb. 14, councillors will be looking at the final version of the regional budget.

The report also states that should the committee of the whole structure be set aside, that timetable may change.