By JIMMY LAWTON
OGDENSBURG – City Councilors will seek a $25,000 consolidated funding grant on behalf of Fort La Presentation for feasibility study of the proposed Historic Visitor Center.
City councilors approved a resolution authorizing City Manager John Pinkerton to apply for the grant in a 6-0 vote Monday. Councilor William Hosmer abstained because he is a member of the Fort Association.
The visitor center would be located on lighthouse point, according to Fort Association President Barbara O’Keefe. Councilors say the grant would be submitted to the North Country Regional Economic Development Council in connection with the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.
If received, the grant money would be used to determine the feasibility of constructing and operating the visitor center, the resolution says.
Councilors said establishing the center would support nearby local businesses, promote waterfront access and offer “new historic, cultural and recreational opportunities.”
The plan is also part of the city’s Brownfields Opportunity Area plan and its Local Waterfront Revitalization plan.
According to the resolution, the Fort Association will provide all financial support for the application as well as any required matching funds.
The visitor center would also tie in with the association’s effort to construct a $470,000 historic trail, which would be connected to the city’s Maple Trail. The lion’s share of that project will be paid for with a $350,000 grant from the state’s park and recreation office. The fort is hopeful it can secure the additional $82,550 through smaller grants and in kind services.
O’Keefe was hopeful that the construction would begin this month and completed in November of 2015, however construction has been delayed. O’Keefe said the project has not yet been put out to bid.