PERU After several years of being Clinton Countys fastest growing community, the growth of new homes in Peru has cooled considerably, declining by 78 over the past three years. The neighboring Town of Plattsburghs single-family dwelling permit rate also showed a decline, but by a lesser 54 percent and Plattsburgh shows signs of a rebound with permits issued in 2007 increasing by 27 percent over last year. While Beekmantowns exact figures were not available at the time this newspaper went to press, that towns code enforcement officer, Allan Corron, said he believes 2007 permits issued have declined about 25 percent, compared to 2006. Declines in home sales are often attributed to increasing mortgage interest rates, however, over the past three years, interest rates have been relatively stable. According to Diana Padron of TD Banknorth, as of Oct. 26, the nationwide average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.33 percent, a decline from the 2006 rate of 6.4 percent and only a slight increase from the 2005 rate of 6.15 percent. Our new home construction is down, but not significantly, said Ward Lumber Company merchandise manager Terry Warner, of the overall construction climate. Its been so strong. Were really not affected like the rest of the country. Mr. Warner went on to cite such things as the price of gasoline as the reason why some may be delaying home construction. Some people are cautious right now, he said. Theyre going to wait and see. Its a cycle. Mr. Warner did have some good news. The lower new home construction rate has resulted in lower lumber prices. He said some plywood prices have dropped 10 to 30 percent, depending on the product. On the negative side, items containing copper or oil derivatives have increased in price. Looking to the months ahead, Peru code and zoning officer Paul Blaine said two major single-home developments are moving forward in the approval process. In the very near future, Buttonwood subdivision developer Roy Bedard is expected to ask the town to accept a recently constructed road connecting his subdivision to State Route 22B. Hes also expected to bring a plan for 15 additional Buttonbrook lots before the town planning board. Gary Facteau of GLF Customs Homes has received preliminary approval to develop 18 single-family home lots on State Route 22B, about one mile east of the Peru village between Fox Farm Road and the Veterans of Foreign Wars post. Peru also has positive commercial development news. The Peru Zoning Board has approved Al Turners application to construct a 128-unit self-storage facility at the corner of Bear Swamp and Dashnaw roads. The planning board must still review that proposal. Several trees have been cut east of Chases Mobil Station on Bear Swamp Road, resulting in speculation more development may be coming. Mr. Blaine said it is his understanding the Chases are planning a parking lot expansion.