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City Hall will be evacuation center


Ogdensburg City Hall has been designated as an emergency evacuation center for employees and staff at the nearby St. Lawrence NYSARC/Seaway Industries redemption center.

City Manager John M. Pinkerton said Monday that a memorandum of understanding had been drawn up to approve the arrangement between the city and the agency that runs the redemption center, which is located at 330-332 State St. The request came from John R. Morrison, Seaway Industries director. He was looking for a place close by where his 55 employees and 10-person administrative staff could go to wait in the aftermath of an emergency such as a natural gas leak or a fire.

City Hall, located one block over at 330 Ford St., and sharing the redemption center’s weekday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. schedule of business, seemed like a good fit with its spacious, first-floor City Council chambers.

“It’s an easy walk over to Ford Street,” Mr. Morrison said Monday. “We can go right out our back door.”

Until now, St. Lawrence NYSARC/Seaway Industries has relied on the Ogdensburg Elks Lodge, located close by at the corner of Greene and Caroline streets, as an emergency evacuation center. But, Mr. Morrison said, the organization’s clubhouse isn’t always open.

St. Lawrence NYSARC/Seaway Industries conducts frequent emergency evacuation drills in accordance with its regulations. Mr. Morrison said he couldn’t recall a real, emergency-inspired evacuation at the State Street building, certainly not in his five years there.

“Quite honestly, I hope we never have to,” he said.

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