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Posted on: January 5, 2022

Spearfish sees record-breaking year with $98 million in total building project valuation

Construction at Sky Ridge

SPEARFISH, SD – It isn’t an exaggeration to describe 2021 as a record-breaking year for Spearfish in terms of total building project valuation, which came in over $98 million. 

This is the highest valuation total in Building Services history,” Tom Paisley, Spearfish building official, said, describing the previous record, set in 2020, was $54,968,747.32. 

Building Official Paisley explained total project valuation comes from the estimated cost of each project that requires a building permit, including new buildings, additions, alterations, repairs, basement finishes, etc. He described 2021 had a good balance of both residential and commercial projects in Spearfish, with a total of 520 permits issued. There were 215 new residential units which included 130 single family dwellings, one duplex, six manufactured homes, and three apartment buildings which included 76 units. 

This is almost double the 2020 tally of 109 new residential units,” Building Official Paisley said.

Several new commercial building permits were issued in 2021, included the new Cobblestone building on Main Street, commercial storage units on Colorado Boulevard and Highway 85, the new Carquest Building on Main Street, a new asphalt plant on 1st Avenue, and the Pioneer Bank and Trust building on Jackson Boulevard. New commercial units in existing buildings included Cowgirl Pizza, an indoor climate-controlled storage building on 12th Street and Industrial Drive, Ruby’s Roost Bakery, Ink Imprints, Black Hills Blade and Axe, Black Hills Moto, Millennia Motors, Work Rigs Unlimited, and Eye Love Spearfish. Commercial alterations were also a large part of the permits this year, with 48 commercial alteration permits issued.

Building Official Paisley said 2022 is already looking to be another busy year for the Building Services department, with several new developments underway with more buildable lots, specifically the extended development for the Countryside Subdivision, the Reserve on Higgins Creek, Elkhorn Ridge Golf Estates, Miller Ranch, and Sky Ridge subdivision. 

To keep current with the standards by which buildings are constructed, the City recently adopted the 2021 editions of the International Building Code (IBC), International Residential Code (IRC), International Fire Code (IFC), International Mechanical Code (IMC), International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC), and International Existing Building Code (IEBC). Building Official Paisley explained it is important to ensure that new construction in our community is built to the most recent standards for fire and life safety. 

The public has an expectation of building safety, and that expectation of safety is a result of what building officials and inspectors do every day,” he said. 

Building Services strives to make the building permit process as easy as possible. Plan submittals and permit applications can be submitted and paid for electronically, and the plans are reviewed for code compliance on electronic software. After the plans have been approved, the inspectors perform several inspections during the construction phase which include structural, HVAC, fire, plumbing, accessibility, and final inspections prior to occupancy. The department also inspects fire alarm, fire suppression systems, and accessibility requirements. 

The City of Spearfish is fortunate to have a very knowledgeable team of professionals that have several years of experience in construction and code compliance,” Public Safety Director Pat Rotert said, describing how Building Services works with other departments, including Planning and Zoning, Engineering, Fire, and Floodplain, along with state departments and agencies, such as the Electrical Commission, the Plumbing Commission, the Health Department, the Fire Marshal, Historic Preservation, Child Care Services, and the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “It is a team effort that provides minimum standards for safety in the built environment.

Building Official Tom Paisley added that the City is fortunate to have good contractors in the area that make the Building Services staff’s jobs easier. In 2021, 650 contractor licenses were issued.

He also complimented the Building Services staff: “They are very good at what they do and keep up with these busy times without any complaints,” and he thanked Administrative Assistant Erica Bussiere; Building Inspector Dennis Hafner; and Plumbing/Mechanical Inspector Brian Ulmer for their hard work every day. “They do an exceptional job! It is important for the public to realize the importance of Building Services. We enforce building code standards to ensure the homes we live in and the businesses we enter are safe.” 

Building Services is located in the Building and Development Office in Spearfish City Hall and can be reached at (605) 642-1335. More information is available at www.cityofspearfish.com/174/Building-Services.

2021 By the Numbers:

Total building project valuation = $98,005,007.71
Total building permits = 520
Total new residential units = 215
New single-family dwellings = 130
Total new commercial permits = 11
Commercial additions = 3
Commercial alterations = 48
Contractor licenses issued = 650


Construction at Sky Ridge Photo Caption: 2022 is already looking to be another busy year for the Building Services department, with several new developments underway with more buildable lots, including the Sky Ridge subdivision, pictured.  Photo courtesy Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) 

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