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Ogdensburg City Council will not buy parking lot owned by Growth Fund

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The city of Ogdensburg is not interested in a parking lot owned by the Ogdensburg Growth Fund Development Corp. located at 420 Ford St., with city councilors suggesting the fund find a private buyer.

In February the growth fund began searching for a way to sell to the property, appraised at $22,000.

Administrative Director Andrea L. Smith said the growth fund approached City Council prior to talking to other parties in case councilors believed the city could benefit from a public parking lot.

“They are just weighing the options,” Ms. Smith said of the growth fund’s course of action.

The parking lot is an “L” shaped parcel that has entrances on Ford Street and Caroline Street.

Currently owned by the growth fund, the city clears snow off most of the lot during the winter – a relationship that will be changing as the growth fund seeks to distance itself from city authority.

Ms. Smith said if the growth fund remains the owner of the property they will have to decide whether to contract with the city or a private company to maintain the property, or else not plow it at all in the winter.

“It’s not for the city to provide public parking,” Councilor William D. Hosmer said, advising the fund to look for a private buyer.

Mr. Hosmer said the fund should first canvas business owners with property adjacent to the parking lot, making it clear that if someone else buys it, they may lose parking or access. Councilors Jennifer Stevenson and Wayne L. Ashley also voiced their opposition to buying the property.

“I would like to see the property stay on the tax rolls,” Ms. Stevenson said.

Ms. Smith said the growth fund also felt that providing public parking is not in their mandate.

“If the growth fund chooses to pursue disposition, or sale of the property, they have already discussed contacting all of the adjacent property owners that may have an interest, before putting it up for public auction,” Ms. Smith said.

Mayor William D. Nelson said there was a clear consent from the council that the city is not interested in the property.

Ms. Smith said the growth fund will discuss their next move at their April 9 meeting, held at 8 a.m. at City Hall.

The other property owned by the growth fund is the building leased by the United States Postal Service at 431 State St.

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