Gillette, Wyo., Issues Record Number of Housing Permits

Sun March 04, 2007 - West Edition

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) The city issued a record 631 housing construction permits in 2006, and at least one contractor thinks 2007 could be just as busy.

It was the first year that Gillette issued more than 600 residential permits.

“I suspect the city has one of the highest number of residential permits as compared to all cities in the state this year,” city planner Michael Surface said.

Contractor Jim Anderson, with Premier Homes LLC, expects the trend to continue. He also expects a local worker shortage will continue to make out-of-town subcontractors a necesssity.

“We still need a lot of people here,” he said.

Robust coal, gas and oil development is fueling a local economic boom.

Surface said the number of residential permits last year was in line with a U.S. Bureau of Land Management study that predicted a need for 600 housing units a year for five years.

City officials said that some 1,500 permit applications are waiting for review and more than 900 residential units are ready for building permits.