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WEST, Texas Home construction and remodels are spiking in a town that was devastated by a fertilizer plant explosion on April 17.

Nearly 150 building permits for remodels and new construction have been issued since early summer, according to town officials in West.

There have also been more than 100 properties demolished in the wake of the powerful blast.

Willie Zahirniak and his wife will move in within weeks, not months, to their new brick home.

It sits about 200 yards away from the explosion site.

'It's good to see all the homes rebuilt,' he told News 8.

But Zahirniak and others in this Central Texas town admit there are still a lot of sites sitting empty.

One local Realtor said some are listing for as little as $25,000, their owners concluding that makes more sense than trying to rebuild.

Earlier this month, the Malers told News 8 they were still undecided about whether to rebuild in the spot where their mother, Elizabeth, had lived for decades.

'The taxes here with the town and school improvements... we just don't know,' said Sharon Maler Rios.

Earlier this month, News 8 first reported that nearly $3.6 million in private donations is being distributed to families who have applied for extra help with things like construction costs.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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