November 20, 2008

Growth spurring construction spike

Growth spurring construction spike

By STU MERRY

Growth is good. And in these times of economic uncertainty, any type of growth is a Godsend.

But the activity that’s been happening at Garrison Lumber can be classified as nothing short of phenomenal.

Gene Hummel, owner of the business along with his wife Linda, have witnessed something this year that they only dreamt about. There’s a mini construction boom going on in the area.

Hummel laughs when asked how many projects have come out of the lumber yard this year, saying he has no idea. Then, counting out loud, he said "at least 11 houses" complete or under construction. A couple more are scheduled for activity this fall. And three more are on the drawing board. In the pole barn department – the number is about a dozen. Throw in a countless number of remodeling, siding, additions and shingle jobs and Hummel’s head just spins.

"There’s so many," he said.

The construction boom isn’t specific to the immediate Garrison area. Projects through Garrison Lumber include ones north of Max, south to Wolf Creek Cabin Site, east to Lake Audubon and west to White Shield. Heck, trucks have hauled material from the Garrison yard to Makoti – and even one project in Williston.

Comparing this year to past years, Hummel can only smile.

"It’s the best year we’ve had since we’ve owned the business," he said.

"We were already gong at a record pace before the hailstorm," he went on to say. "And most of them (re-shingling projects) will be done next year."

Hummel shared that aid the construction boom in the area is not sector-specific.

"It runs the gamut," Hummel said. "Anything and everything … there’s a lot going on. And there’s some projects we are not even involved in."

Some of the more prime locations, though, are areas shadowing the lake. Where once pastures and fields stretched to the horizon, a new crop is taking root and flourishing. It’s housing developments. Those developments include Douglas Bay, Totten Trail, Audubon and Ireland subdivisions south of Garrison


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