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House building permits down

A new attached garage is being constructed, replacing an old one in southeast Jamestown. Garages valued at more than $389,000 were permitted for construction this year in Jamestown. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Residential construction work in Jamestown has been mostly small jobs this summer, according to Tom Blackmore, Jamestown building inspector.

"The value for the building permits for all projects that involve existing structures is $882,000," he said. "Residential construction permits as a total are $1.8 million (Year-to-date in 2018)."

This compares to $3.1 million in the value of residential building permits in 2017. Permits this year include four new homes compared to 11 new houses permitted in 2017.

This year, Jamestown residents have received building permits for $74,000 in new decks, $389,000 for garages and remodeling projects valued at $269,000, Blackmore said.

"A lot of contractors are still finding work," he said. "But it's not building brand new houses."

Ray Kleinknecht, owner of Jamestown Builders, said he had been winding down to retirement this summer but still found a steady stream of jobs.

"Mostly roofing," he said. "Some decks and things."

Commercial construction in Jamestown is up this year compared to last year. Blackmore said permits with a value of $6.5 million had been issued compared to $5.7 million last year. The biggest projects are the addition to Dakota Central's office and the remodel at the Buffalo Mall for the planned TJ Maxx store slated to open later this fall.

Dave Hillerud, vice president of Hillerud Construction, said its summer has been busy at times.

"Pretty good," he said, describing the amount of work his company has had. "But it comes in spurts."

The city of Jamestown 2018 budget has anticipated revenue of $90,000 in collections for building permits.

Historically, the city took in $91,000 for building permits in 2015 and $160,000 in 2016. Collections in 2017 were $45,000 and year-to-date collections in 2018 were $14,396 in July when the budget process started.

The preliminary budget for 2019 reduces anticipated city collections to $40,000. The $50,000 reduction in the revenue budget contributes to the red ink and possible higher mill levies for Jamestown.

Blackmore said he hoped to see the value of building permits in Jamestown rise in the future.

"I'm excited for 2019," he said. "This could be a growing year. Hopefully development spurs development."

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