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Growth Fund board member resigns

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OGDENSBURG — Ogdensburg Development Corp. board member James McCarthy has resigned after six years of service to the city’s small business lending agency.

Mr. McCarthy said his increased job responsibilities as the Ogdensburg City School District’s buildings and grounds supervisor made it impossible for him to regularly attend the Growth Fund’s 8 a.m. meetings.

Nevertheless, he said, it was a satisfying experience.

“It was very rewarding,” Mr. McCarthy said. “It helped a lot of small businesses that didn’t have anywhere else to go.”

Mr. McCarthy said a high point of his service was the Growth Fund’s 2007 controversial purchase and subsequent renovation of the former post office at 420 Ford St. It was perceived by some as an ill-advised competition with private real estate agencies.

“We caught a lot of flak for that,” Mr. McCarthy said.

Watertown ophthalmologist Dr. Noaman Sanni eventually bought the building, opening a Center for Sight office there and lending downtown a needed business presence.

Mr. McCarthy’s resignation leaves the Growth Fund with Mayor William D. Nelson, who is fund chairman, and members John M. Pinkerton, city manager, Scott M. Wright, Samuel J. LaMacchia, Lori A. Smithers, Dallas P. Sutton and Gary Hammond.

Mr. Nelson said Tuesday that a replacement soon would be sought for City Council approval.

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