The pace of permit issuance for construction work in Evanston slacked off last month. But for the year so far construction work is running 30 percent ahead of last year, and just 16 percent behind the record set in 2005.

The city’s Community Development Department reports that the value of work represented by building permits issued in August was $20.9 million, compared to $11 million in August 2006 and $13.9 million in August 2005.

For the year so far, the value of construction activity totals $178.7 million, compared to $137 million in 2006 and $212 million in 2005, when construction began on the Sherman Plaza project.

Some of the work permitted in recent months is for demolition of existing structures scheduled for replacement. Those projects will further boost the construction value figures in coming months when permits for the new buildings are issued.

New multi-family construction projects represented 35.6 percent of the total permitted in August, rehab work on existing residential buildings added 21.6 percent and miscellaneous projects, which include demolition, added another 18.3 percent.

The city gets nearly five percent of its general fund revenue from building permit fees. Fees collected this calendar year so far total over $3.6 million, compared to $2.7 million during the same period last year.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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