Bay County Sees Construction Hike

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BAY COUNTY -- There is more proof that Florida is in the midst of construction resurgence.

The number of construction permits issued in Bay County is up and the trend should continue through the end of the year.

Contractors say the extra work is great for the local economy.

Billy Myers drives two hours from his home in Alabama to come to work in Bay County. He's painting a new house for Griffin Mitchell construction.

"I've been prepping the house caulking it, puttying it, priming it, sanding it,” said Myers.

The construction team began building the house in late fall.

A home in St. Andrews is just one example of the booming construction business in Bay County.

This year alone new construction permits have reached 138.

Bay Co. Building Official Larry Carnley said, "We're speculating to have close to 500. If we continue at the pace we are now, we will break 500."

By comparison there were 304 construction permits issued in 2011, 394 in 2012, and 473 in 2013.

Griffin Mitchell Inc. Vice President Evan Christensen said, "A lot of the contractors I know in our area and through our organization and they're very busy. Just last week I was at the Bay County Building Department and at the building department in Panama City Beach and they've got a lot of drawings laying out a lot of permits ready to be picked up so they seem to be very busy."

Myers says the economy is getting better and he's glad to have work.

"I feel like it’s starting to boom again. We're ready for it I know that,” he said.

Construction permits include residential properties, as well as community pools, businesses, storage buildings and more.