OGDENSBURG – The City of Ogdensburg will be provided $300,000 for the cleanup of the former Augsbury tank farm oil storage site on the waterfront.
The money, from the Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Program, will be used to build a mixed-use development along the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River.
The announcement of the award was made by New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, who last month wrote to EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe, urging the agency to support Ogdensburg in their effort to clean up and redevelop the site.
“This is an important investment for the City of Ogdensburg,” Gillibrand said. “Federal funding will help revitalize neighborhoods, attract new businesses, create new jobs, and make our waterfront a place for North Country residents to live, work and raise a family.”
“The opportunity for us to remediate the city’s waterfront property is critical to our future,” said Ogdensburg Mayor Bill Nelson. “This funding is central to the city’s commercial development and the area’s housing and tourism strategies. We are all greatly appreciative of Senator Gillibrand’s efforts on behalf of our proposal.”
Ogdensburg City Manager John Pinkerton said the support of Sen. Gillibrand and of state Sen. Patty Ritchie (R-Heuvelton) was key to the release of the funding.
“These funds will enable us to continue our work reclaiming our city’s waterfront in line with our community vision as a place for people to once again live, work, and play,” he said. “This would not have happened without the concerted efforts of Senator Ritchie’s office working with Senator Gillibrand’s office to assist with Ogdensburg’s request.”
The Augsbury Tank Farm site is a significant part of the city’s plans for redevelopment.
The city plans to redevelop the Augsbury site by partnering with Vita Nuova to build a mixed-use development of 192 residential units, 5,000 to 8,000 square feet of commercial space and waterfront park space.
The city estimates the work could create up to 100 construction jobs and 30 to 50 full-time jobs. The cleanup and redevelopment of the site, which comprises four separate parcels and previously contained a major oil storage facility, is critical to the revitalization of the city’s waterfront area.
If left untouched, brownfields can be harmful to surrounding environments and habitats, diminishing economic and recreational uses.
The EPA’s Brownfields Program helps communities assess, clean up, redevelop and reuse contaminated properties.