JOHNSTOWN - The value of construction projects needing permits in the city shot up by more than $1 million last month compared to last year, city officials said.
"This was one extraordinary November," city Fire Chief Bruce Heberer told the Common Council Monday at City Hall.
Heberer, the city's code enforcement officer, every month issues a city Fire Department report to the council that contains building permit information. The report notes the "estimated cost" of new construction projects requiring permits in the city.
Mayor Sarah Slingerland on Monday took notice of Heberer's November figures showing 38 permits issued with a total cost of $1.26 million. That was contrasted to 50 permits issued with $241,000 in estimated costs for projects in November 2011.
"We're seeing a lot of renovation permits," Heberer said.
Even though the number of permits was down from a year ago, the fire chief noted some projects are pushing up the estimated costs such as the Fage USA expansion. He said its preliminary excavation is part of the November estimated costs.
Work is now under way for expansion of the yogurt plant in the Johnstown Industrial Park. The company's $120 million project includes a 180,000-square-foot addition.
Heberer said Wednesday that when Fage USA really gets moving on its project, probably in February and March, the estimated costs from its building permits will skyrocket.
"That number is going to be huge," he said.
Another recent project in the city noted by Slingerland is one by a Saratoga Springs developer who plans to build 16 townhouses on two pieces of land near the intersection of Chestnut Street and West Madison Avenue.
"It's been a really great year," Heberer told the council.
Fees collected by the city for building permits issued also increased from $1,875 collected in November 2011 to $2,617 last month.