The number of new homes under construction in Hastings so far this year could be a sign that the city and local economy are bouncing back after a few stagnant years.
"I think we are coming back" said Mark Evans, city building inspector. "In previous years, we have been sneaking up around 50 and 60 houses per year. Then we took a pretty strong drop and it finally feels like we're coming back. We are a lot busier with inspections and permitting than we have been for the last couple of years."
In May, the city issued more than $1.744 million in building permits, with $1.408 million of that total based on residential valuations. Evans said the month of June looked even stronger, as 13 residential housing permits were filed.
In all of 2013, just 32 new homes were built in Hastings and through June of this year, 39 building permits have been issued.
"Residential has been strong for us," Evans said. "So far, we are on track for (the construction of) about 60 houses for the year. That is pretty strong for Hastings."