CANTON - So far this year, 15 new homes have been built in Canton, up from 11 the previous year.
Only one of the new homes is within the village limits, while the other 14 are in the town, outside village.
Codes Enforcement Officer Russell B. Lawrence IV said the new homes include both manufactured and traditional stick-built homes.
We refer to them as new starts, Mr. Russell said. Were still getting some residential growth. The universities and the colleges are a big draw for us.
Since 2000, a total of 241 new homes have been built, including 226 in the town and 15 in the village.
Besides having St. Lawrence University and SUNY Canton, he said families are attracted to Cantons strong public school district.
Town Supervisor David T. Button said improving access to the Grasse River such as the Heritage Park project and the refurbishing of the Gray Lanes bowling alley into office and housing space have also improved Canton.
With a low property tax rate compared to many north country towns, Mr. Button said Canton is attractive to locals as well as people moving into the north country.
The town of Cantons 2013 property tax rate is $2.39 per $1,000 of assessed property value, ranking it the seventh lowest of the 32 towns in St. Lawrence County. The towns tax rate has dropped from $2.43 four years ago.
Adding more homes added to the property tax base has helped keep the towns tax rate down, Mr. Button said.
Since 2000, new homes in the town and village have increased the towns property value by an estimated $19.2 million.
The villages tax rate is $10.45 per $1,000 of assessed property value, the fifth lowest among the countys 13 villages. The Canton Central School tax rate is $19.65.
Property owners in the Canton School District residents are also charged a 14 cent per $1,000 fee for the Canton Free Library.
Some choose to live outside the village because they want more land. Town outside village residents also avoid paying village taxes and sewer and water fees.
There are a lot of positive quality of life issues in Canton, Mr. Button said. Even with the rising price of vacant land, people are still opting for Canton.
Other Canton residents prefer the convenience of village living, such as sidewalks and being in walking distance of downtown and the colleges. Some prefer to have a municipal water system.
The one new village home is being constructed by Varick A. and Judy C. Chittenden at 22 Fairlane Drive. The couple is moving from their 285 Judson Street Road home, which is outside the village limits.
Mr. Chittenden said he and his wife wanted to build a single-story home and want to part of a neighborhood during their retirement years.
We see it as a vibrant part of Canton, and we like the idea of coming out our door and walking downtown or onto campus, Mr. Chittenden said.
In neighboring Potsdam, five new homes were built in the town outside the village this year, compared to seven in 2012 and 10 in 2011.
This year, the town of Potsdams tax rate is $2.21 per $1,000 while the village of Potsdams tax rate is $12.83. The Potsdam Central School tax rate is $22.74 plus 89 cents per $1,000 for the Potsdam Public Library.