- Special Sections
COLUMBIA CITY â Whitley Countyâs top planner gave Columbia City as well as county officials an overview this week on his departmentâs progress and accomplishments during 2010.
David Sewell, executive director of the Whitley County Building and Planning Department, presented his officeâs annual report to the countyâs Board of Commissioners Tuesday afternoon and appeared later in the day at the Columbia City Common Council meeting Tuesday night.
âWeâve made some progress and I feel like weâre starting to turn around a little bit â things are starting to pick up,â said Sewell to the three-man panel of commissioners.
Sewell told both panels his department issued 617 total building permits in the county with an estimated construction value of more than $64 million.
The department also collected more than $66,000 in fees from throughout the county.
âThis is a good report, Dave,â said Commissioner Don Amber. âIt tells us where weâre going and where weâre not.â
According to Sewell, the Joint Planning and Building Department was formed in 1987, combining planning departments of both the county and of Columbia City.
Sewell told the city council Tuesday night that while Columbia City and Whitley County were both part of the original agreement that formed the joint office, his department also helps to serve communities such as South Whitley, Churubusco, Larwill and outlying communities in the county.
âI felt, all in all, like it (2010) was a very successful year and hopefully weâre on the upswing from the lean years,â said Sewell to the city officials.
âThere was definitely growth that weâre seeing and Columbia City is leading in that category.â
According to Sewell, Columbia City and Whitley County approval was being sought, and from there the report will be distributed to the other communities in the county.
Both panels approved the report.