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Building activity in Ogdensburg increased in 2012

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Building activity in Ogdensburg increased in dollar value in 2012 over the year before, with commercial projects standing out in an otherwise soft economy.

Code Enforcement Officer Gregg A. Mallette said Thursday that commercial and residential building activity last year was valued at $7,198,000, up from $4,014,000 in 2011.

Still, his office issued fewer building permits, 415 of them in 2012 as opposed to 454 in 2011.

It was the costlier, bigger scope commercial projects that made the difference in the bottom line.

“Commercial jobs always have a higher value,” Mr. Mallette said.

Those commercial jobs and their price tags included:

n St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union’s ongoing expansion at 800 Commerce Park Drive, $2 million;

n Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad’s new headquarters, ongoing at 1223 Pickering St., $1 million;

n Key Bank interior and handicapped access renovations, 333 Ford St., $250,000;

n Remediation of the petroleum-contaminated Thomas Duffy property at Lighthouse Point, $500,000.

On another upbeat note, new home construction also rose in 2012. Three of them, with a total value of $400,000, were built in 2012. Last year, two homes with a total value of $160,000 were built in Ogdensburg.

Mr. Mallette said that the overall decrease in building permits was due to a drop in the number and value of home projects. And that has been a steady decline of late, since his office generally issues about 500 building permits a year.

The home projects, Mr. Mallette noted, are smaller and less expensive.

And for good reason.

“Obviously, the economy is a factor,” he said. “People are being more conservative with their money.”

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