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District voters to decide whether to give surplus land to Ogdensburg Port Authority


OGDENSBURG — The Ogdensburg 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 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 transfer 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 state Education Law.

The Bridge and Port Authority plans to use the property as a buffer zone for the Ogdensburg International Airport runway expansion project.

The Port Authority announced plans for a $10 million expansion project for Ogdensburg International Airport in 2013 as part of a larger effort to revitalize the region and generate jobs and economic development in 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 to accommodate the extension, 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, scheduled May 20.

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