LIMA — The 142nd public officials dialogue, held virtually on Wednesday, featured a presentation by Amy Harpster, Chief Building Official with the Lima-Allen County Building Department.
The discussion was organized by the League of Women Voters of the Lima area.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the department has been closed to the public but that hasn’t stopped them from providing services.
“Hopefully that will open back up,” Harpster said. “If customers come to the building we do have a drop-off box and we do have the ability, if they call, we can run something down to them. All of our services that we provide are available online.”
More people are discovering how to file forms electronically.
“With COVID, we’re seeing an increase of electronic plan submittal. I’d say it was about 96-97% of electronic plans as opposed to the hard copies.”
The Lima-Allen County Building Department serves the City of Lima as well as unincorporated areas of Allen County.
In 2020 the department issued 1190 permits, of those 369 were commercial, 482 were residential.
The building department reviewed a total of 503 plans in 2020. The average commercial plan review was 11.1 business days. The average Commercial Sign/Awning review was 7 business days and the average residential plan review was 4.8 business days.
Harpster reported that residential homeowners in the City of Lima made more than $3 million investments in new home construction or alterations to their homes in 2020. The total area of alterations and new construction was 242,075 square feet.
Commercial businesses invested more than $83.81 million throughout the Lima/Allen County community through new construction or alterations in their businesses. The total area of commercial alterations and new construction amounted to more than 3.5 million square feet of improvements.
Harpster reported a total of 62 demolition permits were issued for structures within the City of Lima during 2020. Seventeen structures were demolished by the City of Lima. Twelve of those structures were demolished with Community Development Block Grant funds. Four residential structures were demolished with AG PRogram Income funds and one commercial structure was demolished with general funds. Owners obtained 45 demolition permits in 2020.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.