Village of Potsdam has issued work permits for 21 projects worth $5 million since January
Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 9:30 am

 By CRAIG FREILICH

POTSDAM – The village Code Enforcement Office has issued a total of 21 building permits since the first of the year, including 12 commercial projects worth more than $5 million.

Compliance with rules about garbage collections was also a major area of concentration during the period.

Harbor Freight has received its permit to begin renovations in the Big Lots Plaza. They are moving rapidly are are projected to open in late May, according to Code Enforcement Officer Lisa Newby.

Clarkson has a major renovation project that started three weeks ago in the Educational Resources Center, to the Innovation Hub located there. They are in Phase Three of a six-phase project.

Canton-Potsdam Hospital has two projects underway.

Starting this week, they will begin interior renovation at the main hospital campus which will house a new observation unit. And at the 49 Lawrence Ave. campus, they are doing minor renovations to Suites 2 and 4.

Nine residential permits have been issued consisting of minor interior renovations worth a total of $76,850.

Fees collected for those permits total of $49,347.

The CEO has also conducted 218 fire safety inspections, 157 of those in rental apartment residences, seven in businesses, 40 “assembly” inspections in larger buildings, and 17 in sorority and fraternity houses.

“In the last couple of months the main area that we have been receiving a large number of complaints on and have issued numerous courtesy notices would be garbage,” said Newby in her report to the Board of Trustees Tuesday night.

The majority of these complaints and notices are about residents leaving the waste containers out at the curb for several days at a time beyond the pickup days, she said.

“Since January we have issued 43 written container notices and countless phone calls to landlords asking that they inform their tenants they are in violation of this Village Ordinance,” she said. The current code requires their removal within 12 hours of pickup. If no contact with the village is made or there still is no compliance, the tenannt or property owner can be fined $25 a day, but none have gone that far.

She credits village Clerk/Treasurer Lori Queor with “a great solution which was to put bright orange door tags on the property informing the tenant or resident to contact the Code office within 24 hours.” The tags are worded so that they can refer to many types of concerns, not just trash issues.

“So far we have had a response from every one we have used so I believe we may be on the right track to getting these issues resolved,” Newby said.

Since her last report in January the office has been pursuing action on three different vacant and abandoned properties.

That number has increased to five since then, all of which have had new “condemned” signage posted on them.

Newby says she has had contact with three of the five responsible parties. Two of these properties are believed to be going to the St. Lawrence County tax sale this fall if they cannot be sold beforehand, “and the other property is in a foreclosure process so we will have to wait and see the outcome of this,” she said. She said she has hope other foreclosed property can be saved. One property, she said, is likely to be demolished.

“I believe we are on the right track with these and I am still hopeful that we will see action in regards to these properties in the near future,” she said.