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Spurred by the construction of single-family homes, building in the Town of Hamburg reached a record level last year.

The total cost of new homes and businesses, additions and other improvements was $63,399,341 -- almost a 25 percent jump from the previous record of $50.8 million in 1996.

"Hamburg is in a real growth mode now," said Kurt Allen, supervisor of building inspectors. "We have ongoing subdivisions, but they took off last year."

"We've been prepared for years with preapproved subdivisions," Supervisor Patrick H. Hoak said.

Hoak said the growth that towns to the north and east of Buffalo have experienced has finally come to the southern towns. He said Hamburg is appealing because it offers a variety of types of life, from rural to village locations to areas with luxury executive homes, all within a close driving distance to the city.

"People are starting to realize we are not in the wasteland," Hoak said.

The town issued permits for the construction of 161 single-family homes last year with an estimated cost of $21,023,000. Allen said that's the most issued since 195 houses were built in 1990. He said most of the homes were built in previously approved subdivision developments.

He sees more of the same for this year, based on the economy and the number of subdivisions being considered by the Planning Board.

"I expect, because of interest rates, a continuation. Construction costs are similar to last year, but interest rates are lower," Allen said.

Hamburg also experienced several large commercial additions. There were nine permits issued with an estimated cost of $13.3 million for additions to commercial and industrial buildings. Allen said several large projects, including the addition to Wesleyan Church of Hamburg on McKinley Parkway, account for much of the value of the additions. There were 11 permits issued for commercial/industrial buildings with a cost of $7 million and 51 permits issued for $7.8 million in alterations to commercial/industrial facilities.

"We had steady growth," Allen said.

He said the Milestrip Road-McKinley Parkway corridor around McKinley Mall continues to be a strong commercial area of the town.

The town also issued 153 permits for decks, permits for 103 above-ground pools and 42 in-ground pools last year.

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