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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The downturn in the local economy has forced the North Peace Savings & Credit Union to delay it decision on the start of construction for its new building on 100 Street.

Vice-President Ken Dickson says, in terms of sound financial management, it’s difficult to gauge how long the downturn is going to last.

Dickson says the estimated construction time of what is expected to be a three story building on the site of the now demolished St. Martin’s Anglican Church is 12 to 18 months.

However, he also says the delay in building construction will not impact this year’s Credit Union update plans for the cemetery on the former church property.

He says the exterior design plans of what is likely to be about $15 million facility have been approved by the city, but the actual building permit approval will likely take another month or two.

If and when the permit is issued, it could be a major shot in the arm for what is so far a major year-over-year downturn in the value of construction in the city.

The April Building Inspection report is out, showing that 12 permits were issued last month for $2.7 million, as compared to 19 permits in the same month last year, worth $11.9 million.

The April total left the year’s construction value to-date at only $8.5 million — less than 20 per cent of the $50.7 million for the same four month period last year.

It’s the same story when comparing city building permit revenue for the first third of each year, as this year’s total is just over $44,000 as compared to almost 254,000 in 2015.

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