Brownfield Opportunity Area in Ogdensburg may get state designation
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 5:26 pm

By JIMMY LAWTON

OGDENSBURG -- Ogdensburg could be among the first municipalities to have its Brownfield Opportunity Areas designated by the Department of State.

The designation would mean more grant opportunities for the areas within the designated 330-acre area. It could also provide tax incentives for development within the zone.

City Planner Andrea Smith said a project officer from the secretary of state urged the city to submit a formal application for the designation.

“Having one of our BOAs among the first to be considered for designation is a real accomplishment for our community and for our staff members past and present,” she said. “There were many many people who worked to make this possible.”

Ogdensburg’s Brownfield Opportunity Area is broken into four districts including Diamond/Shade Roller, Augsbury, Fort De La Presentation and the Marina District.

Some portions of the BOA are city owned, while other are owned privately. All development within the four districts would be eligible for benefits if the state designation is made.

Smith said the nomination report, which must be approved by the state, identifies plans to remediate and develop properties within the BOA. It includes a study that was completed with help from the public as well as hired consultants.

Smith said the designation could be a huge boon to the city not only for future grants, but the tax breaks associated with the BOA could be an incentive for investors and developers.

“I am very excited for our community,” she said.

At a recent meeting city councilors unanimously agreed to submit the BOA plan to the Department of State.

Mayor William Nelson offered “kudos” to Smith for her work on the BOA.

“I’m just a small part of it. This has been a long term effort from past staff,” she said.

Smith was unsure when the city would hear back from the state, but believed the response would be favorable.

“I’m hopeful,” she said.