By CRAIG FREILICH
The villages of Potsdam and Canton are being outstripped by their respective townships in the number of housing starts in the last two years.
The ratio of houses started in the townships to those in the villages is 51 to 3, in total, in 2011 and 2012, according to figures from code enforcement officers, who handle building permits.
The Village of Potsdam saw no houses started in either year, “not one,” according to Potsdam Village Code Enforcement Officer Larry Colbert.
Housing starts in the town of Potsdam led the pack. In 2011, 17 houses were started, and in 2012, another 15 got under way, according to Town Code Enforcement Officer James Plumley.
The picture is similar in Canton. In the village, two houses were started in 2011, and one in 2012, according to Russ Lawrence, who handles code enforcement for both the village and town,
In the township, Lawrence said, nine houses were begun in 2011, and 10 in 2012.
The number of building permits for all projects issued in 2012 was up in the town of Potsdam, down in the village of Potsdam, up in the town of Canton, and up – by one – In the village of Canton.
None of the code enforcement officers we spoke with saw any particular trend in the figures, except perhaps a higher level of maintenance and improvement than usual, compared to new construction.
Lawrence said that, for work in Canton township, 89 permits were issued in 2012, up from 79 in 2011. Total estimated construction costs on those jobs amounted to $2,379,640 compared with $2,414,826 in 2011. The permit fees collected were $9,105.42 in 20102 and $6,846.15 in 2011.
In the Village of Canton, 109 permits covering an estimated $4,437,624 in construction costs were issued in 2012, generating $12,025.12 in permit fees.
In 2011, 108 permits were issued with estimated building costs of $3,427,542 with fees amounting to $10,140.44 in fees. Two new houses were built in the village in 2011, and there were three commercial projects and one agricultural project.
Lawrence said that while most municipalities’ building permit fees are based on the estimated cost of the project, Canton figures permit fees from a project’s square footage.
In Potsdam, Plumley noted that the cost of projects in the township in 2012 was $3,500,000, as compared with $3,063,245 in 2011. Fees collected were $7,964.50 in 2012 and $6,662.75 in 2011.
In 2012, in addition to the permits issued for 15 houses in the township, 13 garages, six additions, seven decks, 19 storage buildings, 49 miscellaneous projects, and four commercial building projects were approved, for a total of 113 permits.
In 2011, Plumley said, 17 permits were issued for house building, nine for garages, 16 for additions, 10 for decks, 14 for roofing, 8 for septic tanks, 6 for rehabilitation, and 25 for other miscellaneous projects.