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Contracts for future construction on the Niagara Frontier plunged 23 percent in October, statistics from the F.W. Dodge Division of McGraw-Hill show.

The negative numbers for both residential and nonresidential construction pacts combined, however, were not indicative of the state as a whole. For New York, the total contracts reported increased in value by 2 percent compared to October 1989.

For Erie and Niagara counties, construction contracts reported totaled $69.49 million, compared to $90.83 million a year earlier. Nonresidential pacts totaled $36.61 million, down 17 percent from last year's $44.36 million; while $32.89 million in residential contracts were reported, down 29 percent from a year earlier.

Individually, both counties recorded double-digit decreases in pacts reported in all three categories. In Erie County,total building was off 23 percent, at $59.25 million; while nonresidential contracts fell 17 percent, to $35.21 million; and residential pacts were off 30 percent,to $24 million.

In Niagara County the numbers also were down substantially. Total building contracts reported for October were down 29 percent, to $10.24 million; while nonresidential pacts were off 31 percent, to $1.4 million; and residential contracts reported were down 28 percent, to $8.84 million.

Nonresidential buildings include commercial, manufacturing, educational, religious, administrative, recreational and other facilities not designed for shelter. Residential buildings include houses, apartments, dormitories, motels and other buildings designed for shelter.

On a year-to-date basis, the numbers for the Frontier weren't quite as depressing, with nonresidential pacts actually up about $30 million, or 10 percent,for the 10-month period. Residential contracts were down 14.7 percent, to $381.12 million and building overall was off 4.7 percent, to $714.38 million.

Nonresidential contracts in Erie County also are up year-to-date. The value climbed 12 percent, to $307.56 million from last year's $275.17 million. Residential pacts reported dropped 17 percent, to $316.78 million; and total building was off 5 percent, to $624.34 million.

In Niagara County, total building was off 4 percent, to 90 million; while nonresidential pacts were down 6 percent, to $25.6 million; and residential contracts were off 3 percent, to $64.35 million.

Statewide, total building reported in October was up 2 percent, to $1 billion.

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