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Ogdensburg Growth Fund supports efforts to turn over psych center land to city


The Ogdensburg Growth Fund Development Corp. is backing the city of Ogdensburg’s effort to get surplus state-owned land on the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center campus turned over to the city for development.

At its meeting Wednesday fund board members passed a resolution in support of the effort led by state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, and Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa, to get the state Office of Mental Health to transfer 160 acres of land to the city for commercial and real estate development.

None of the land requested by the city, which includes prime St. Lawrence River waterfront at Point Airy, is currently used by the center.

The motion was supported by Chairman William D. Nelson, Vice Chairman Scott M. Wright, Secretary Dallas P. Sutton and members John M. Pinkerton, Michael S. Brashaw, Gary Hammond and Lori A. Smithers.

Samuel J. LaMacchia was absent for the vote.

Mr. Nelson said the project could be a boon for the city thanks to the pristine quality of the land and its location.

The land is split into four parcels, with some located along Route 37.

“We need to increase the tax base of the city,” Mr. Nelson said. “Without a strong tax base it’s not helpful to anybody.”

Mr. Nelson said he thinks the land along Route 37, in particular, would offer businesses a prime location to set up shop with easy access to both American and Canadian markets.

The resolution was sent to north country state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

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