Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Six more layoffs in Hernando's Development Department

Jim Harmon of RBRB Construction works on a home site in River Country Estates in Spring Hill last January.

Will Vragovic | Times (2008)

Jim Harmon of RBRB Construction works on a home site in River Country Estates in Spring Hill last January.


Six workers in Hernando County's Development Department were laid off Monday due to the continuing slump in new construction.

A freestanding department that pays its own way through the revenues it collects from building fees, the department has been gutted since a record number of building permits in 2005.

The department had 86 workers in 2006. Nearly a year ago, officials laid off 10 workers as a result of the declining building market. Through attrition and Monday's layoffs, the number of department employees now stands at 34.

In 2005, Hernando processed 4,185 single-family home permits. The total fell quickly after that, and in 2008 that number was just 378.

"It's a sign of the times for certain,'' said Brenda McDaniel, executive officer for the Hernando Builders Association.

She called the layoffs understandable.

"The building department is an enterprise fund. They have to run on the money they bring in. If they're not bringing in the money, they can't afford the help,'' she said.

The same thing is going on in the private sector in the current climate. "We've seen it in our own member companies. They've had to let people go. There's just no work,'' McDaniel said.

Most months in 2008, there were not enough permits pulled to say that even one was pulled per day. "Some months it was in the teens,'' she said. "That's why the builders are hurting so bad.''

To see housing starts drop from 4,000 in 2005 to less than a tenth of that last year is painful not just for the builders but also for the many tradespeople they employ as well as the public sector workers who process building permits, McDaniel said.

The county's jobless numbers show the same trend, with the November unemployment figures for Hernando County hitting a 15-year high of 10.2 percent.

When building is booming, workers including electricians, plumbers, carpenters and roofers have a way to make a living. "That's a lot of people to put to work for just one home,'' McDaniel said.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at or (352) 848-1434.

Single-family building permits issued in Hernando County

4,185 issued in 2005

2,787 issued in 2006

807 issued in 2007

378 issued in 2008

Source: Hernando County
Development Department

Six more layoffs in Hernando's Development Department 01/05/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 12:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa girl, 4, dies of gunshot reaching for candy


    TAMPA — One day last week, 4-year-old Yanelly Zoller reached into her grandmother's purse looking for candy, her father says.

    Nelly Zoller snuggles with her grandfather's dog, Venus. Her father says she went looking for candy in her grandmother's purse and found a gun instead. [Facebook]
  2. Mikhail Sergachev begins real Lightning audition vs. Carolina Hurricanes

    Lightning Strikes

    RALEIGH, N.C. — The spotlight will remain on Mikhail Sergachev throughout the Lightning preseason.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) on the ice during hockey training camp in preparation for the 2017-2018 season in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17). DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  3. Tampa police search for man in connection to Sunday killing (w/ video)


    TAMPA — Police released surveillance video of a man they believe might have information about a Sunday morning fatal shooting.

  4. Pinellas announces Hurricane Irma make-up day


    The Pinellas County school district has announced how it will make up one of the seven school days missed by Hurricane Irma.

    Residents make their way into Joseph L. Carwise Middle School to shelter ahead of Hurricane Irma Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017 in Palm Harbor. The storm is forecasted to affect the Tampa Bay area overnight with winds subsiding Monday.
  5. Hooper: Hillsborough marks 100th anniversary of historic photo collection


    Everyone ends up with a favorite.

    Or two or three or 10.

    Rest assured, no one who adores Tampa Bay, appreciates art or cherishes history can explore the Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection without storing at least one snapshot in the mental scrapbook.

    Part of the Burgert Brothers collection now featured through the Hillsborough Public Library shows a beer garden on Central Avenue in Tampa from July 1942. [Burgert Brothers collection]