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City leaders see increase in local construction industry

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: Apr 09 2013 10:31:27 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

We have welcome news for Missoula's construction industry. NBC Montana got the year-to-date report from city leaders and we found a $10 million increase in construction projects so far this year compared to 2012. 

Jeff Nelson of Quality Construction says he’s happy to see an increase in local building.

“I think people are just getting more comfortable with the way the economy is going,” said Nelson.  “Money is loosening up and now you're seeing these projects going up all over town.”

Nelson tells us he has hired 80 subcontractors to work on his current site and expects to hire nearly 120 more within the next two months.

City officials tell us the apartment construction project going on behind the Good Food Store is the perfect example of what they’re seeing in Missoula.

“The last couple of years we've had a lot of apartment complexes come into town which again puts people to work,” said City Building Official Don Verrue. 

Verrue tells NBC Montana he know a lot of contractors have been hurting since the housing market plunged in 2007.

“Now when they come into City Hall they seem to have more smiles on their faces because they're doing better,” said Verrue.

“Everybody out here including myself is blessed that we've got a job,” said Nelson.  “We all sat through slow times here the last two or three years so this is wonderful to see.”

“Nelson tells us he's excited to see more construction projects going on and more folks at work.

“You won't hear anybody complaining about how hard they have to work out here,” said Nelson. 

“With more permits and more remodels going on that were issuing than we have for the past couple of years, we see a trend and I think things are going to get better,” said Verrue. 

If you want to check out the construction report for yourself click here.