Building Permits Spike In Fort Smith

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- According to Fort Smith city leaders, 2016 was a good year when it came to commercial and industrial expansion. The growth pumped quite a bit of money into the local economy.

The amount of building permits were up from previous years.

"The obvious number of jumps was with permits because of the hail storm that occurred in April of 2016. That alone was responsible for a little over 5,000 building permits for residential, commercial and industrial properties," said Wally Bailey, the Director of Developmental Service with the city of Fort Smith.

According to city numbers, 2016 saw nearly $400,000 more paid in building permits compared to the previous three years.

"For example, we had Dixie Cup. We issued permits for several million dollars to Dixie Cup on the northside of Fort Smith," Bailey said. "If more of this happens then I think more that are not  here are going to look at it and say 'I want to be apart of that as well. what do they know?'"

Going into 2017, city leaders are hopeful and say it is off to a good start. The Mitsubishi plant at Chaffee Crossing is currently in the process of a conversion. City leaders said the company who bought the property is being issued permits. The project is a $3 million dollar project.