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District voters will decide whether to give surplus land to the OBPA

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The city school district is seeking voter approval to donate property along Route 37 to the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority.

The 14.4 acres of property owned by the school district is located along the south side of Route 37 across from Ogdensburg Free Academy’s athletic field in the town of Oswegatchie.

In a city school district the donation of district property must be approved by voters. A school district can donate unused school buildings and sites, but only to a public corporation for public use, according to New York State Education Law.

The OBPA plans to use the property as a buffer zone for the Ogdensburg Runway expansion project.

The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority announced plans for a $10 million expansion project for Ogdensburg International Airport in 2013as part of a larger effort to revitalize the region and bring more jobs and economic development to the area.

The airport project is expected to take two years to complete. It will include a 1,200 foot runway extension, the relocation of Route 68, terminal upgrades, and the construction of a waterline to the airport for fire protection.

“If the Bridge and Port Authority is able to maximize the land’s use and find some viable use for it, we are happy to donate the land,” School Board President Ronald N. Johnson said Tuesday. The school district regularly uses OBPA fields for sports games, Mr. Johnson said.

District residents will weigh in on the issue during the district’s annual budget vote held May 20.

A call to the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority was not returned Tuesday.

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