ELLSWORTH — Roughly $4.22 million in construction has been permitted in the city since the beginning of May, a figure that, despite pandemic restrictions and lifestyle shifts, remained almost unchanged compared to the same timeframe last year.
City staff issued 79 building permits for $4.27 million in construction between the beginning of May and the end of August 2019, compared to 80 permits and $4.22 million during those months this year, according to records.
But while the numbers are quite close, there were some differences: the bulk of this year’s permitting occurred in May and July, with permits issued for a total of $1.59 million and $1.44 million, respectively, in construction during those months. But that fell off in June and August, with fewer new homes and commercial projects on the docket, replaced with smaller, residential undertakings such as bathroom additions and woodshed construction.
Last year, May, June and July all saw more than $1 million in construction permitted each month, with building slowing significantly in August to less than $200,000 in total.
Both years saw a mix of residential and commercial development, with residents building sheds and decks, pouring driveway slabs and, in one instance, putting in an in-ground pool.
A number of new single-family homes were permitted this summer as well, including a 1,680-square-foot, $315,000 home on Birch Avenue for Susan Opdycke, a 2,439-square-foot, $280,000 home on the Nicolin Road for James Testa and a 1,638-square-foot modular home estimated to cost $248,586 on Ginnie May Way built by Broughman Builders Inc. On Wilson Way, Cheryl Jacobs VanPeursem was issued permits to build a single-family home valued at $280,000 with a basement to replace a camp and Sara Devlin and Matthew Dewitt were issued permits to build a $255,000, three-bedroom home on the Red Bridge Road.
On the commercial side, Ruger Properties LLC, one of the companies owned by local builder Jonathan Bates, was issued permits for a $900,000, 12-unit apartment building on Ruger Way, off Washington Street. The building is part of Bates’ Washington LUXE complex. Eastern Mold Remediation also received permits for a $92,502, 3,600-square-foot addition to its space on the Nicolin Road and the landscaping company Homsted Earthworks Inc. was issued permits for a commercial building on the Bangor Road estimated to cost $80,000.