New West Potsdam fire training facility nearer with $60,000 grant
Sunday, May 12, 2013 - 8:29 am

By JIMMY LAWTON

A new $450,000 St. Lawrence County Fire Training Facility in West Potsdam is one step closer to reality, following a $60,000 grant announced last week from the St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency.

The grant was the latest contribution received by the St. Lawrence County Fire Training Facility, Inc., which has been working for several years to build a new center.

In February, Assembly member Addie J. Russell, said she had secured $100,000 in state funding. In October of 2012, state senators Patricia Ritchie, Joseph Griffo and Betty Little said they had secured $100,000 for the project.

The fundraising organizations also reached out to the county for support.

The award was one of many grants and loans totaling $538,092 to municipalities and organizations primarily to the St. Lawrence Seaway communities of Massena, Ogdensburg, Waddington and Louisville.

But the St. Lawrence County highway department, St. Lawrence County Power and Equipment Museum in Madrid, the Town of Madrid and the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce also received funding.

A list of funded projects in the Greater Potsdam-Canton area and all of St. Lawrence County provided by Industrial Development Agency Director Patrick J. Kelly, included:

• St. Lawrence County Fire Training Facility, Inc. was granted $60,000 for construction of a new fire training structure at the St. Lawrence County Fire Training Center. Earlier this year, the organization said it was $160,000 short of the total needed to pay for the project. Following completion of the foundation in 2012, the next phase will encompass purchase of materials and labor necessary for construction of a single-story burn room annex on a portion of the new foundation. When complete, the structure will serve to train the over 2,000 firefighters that comprise the 41 fire departments in the county.

• The St. Lawrence County Power and Equipment Museum in Madrid received a $43,342 grant for a new sewage line connection.

• The Town of Madrid received a $50,000 grant for renovations of the Madrid Dam’s north abutments.

• The St. Lawrence County Highway Department received a $30,000 grant for the addition of kiosks, brochures and signs along the trails.

• A $20,000 contribution was made to the St. Lawrence County Walleye Association for the restocking of local waterways, research and community education.

• The St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce received its third $25,000 installment for the FISHCAP program, which aims to make St. Lawrence County the fishing capitol of the world.

The Community Development and Environmental Improvement Program was established by the River Agency as way to give back to local communities that were impacted by the St. Lawrence FDR Power Project. The New York Power Authority granted the agency $16 million to spur economic growth in the county. Each year, the river agency grants up to 5 percent of that funding to community projects.