By Joe King, [email protected]

A building being constructed in Seymour on Maryville Hwy. (The Herald/ Joe King)

This building being constructed in Seymour on Maryville Hwy is a sign of local economic growth. (The Herald/ Joe King)

One telltale sign of a sluggish economy is a lack of new building permits, but Sevier County has had their fair share of construction applicants in the past year.

With a total of 292 new building permits filed in 2012, Sevier County is on the road to a promising future despite the stalled economy.

“In 2012 there were 124 new home permits issued,” said Sevier County Building Official Chris Jenkins. “During this same time other residential permits have steadily increased. These permits include garages and remodeling. Within our remodeling permits are homes that may have been left unfinished due to the economy downturn.”

Jenkins said in 2009 there were nine building permits issued compared to 30 issued in 2012.  This has been an increase from the 102 issued permits of 2011.

“We have seen new single family home permits fluctuate from 143 in 2009 to 102 and now 124,” Jenkins added.

The estimated cost of the total constructions amounted to $401,759,854. The cost of fees was $112,355.85.

Some of the more well-known areas of Seymour where building permits were filed include Tittsworth Springs Rd., Old Sevier Pk., Chapman Hwy., and Boyds Creek Hwy.

“Those building permits are a pretty good indicator of the economy picking-up or banks are lending more,” offered Sevier County Assistant Director of Economic Development David Wear.

Although the economy has shown any immediate signs of growth, with the increase in building permits some local developers are remaining hopeful.

“I really haven’t seen an increase yet,” said Owner of RLS Builders Ronnie Shelton. “There are a lot of people calling, but the increase hasn’t materialized yet. The way things are looking I anticipate the building industry will pick-up in April or May.”

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