Brainstorming session held for Ogdensburg's $10 million downtown grant application
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 5:48 pm

City Manager Sarah Purdy and City Planner Andrea Smith lead a planning meeting in Ogdensburg.

By JIMMY LAWTON
North Country This Week

OGDENSBURG -- More than 50 people attended a brainstorming session held Monday to help shape Ogdensburg’s application for a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Grant.

A microbrewery that uses ingredients produced in New York.

A convention center big enough to hold musical acts and support a variety of youth sports.

A developed Fort de la Presentation featuring a longhouse and French cabins.

Watercraft rentals offered on the Oswegatchie.

Better signage for the city’s many miles of trails.

A museum with local artifacts and historical information.

Wider roads that promote foot traffic.

More access to waterways within city limits.

These are just some of the ideas presented by the community members who want to build on the development happening in Ogdensburg.

City Planner Andrea Smith and City Manager Sarah Purdy led the meeting, which was held to gather ideas about the future of the Ogdensburg.

Smith said the city is uniquely poised for investment in its downtown. She said the city intends to submit a plan that incorporates the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, the Blue Way Trail plan and the Brownfield Opportunity Area plan.

Smith noted recent investments in the city’s former movie theater and the purchase of the adjacent mall as signs of enthusiasm from local developers who see opportunity in the city’s downtown area. Also recently purchased was the Ramada Inn, a multistory hotel that has been vacant for more than a decade.

In the marina district former city councilor William Hosmer continues to invest in his marina, which is undergoing an expansion.

Discussions also continue with the Canadian city of Prescott, where officials are hoping to establish a bicycle and pedestrian ferry.

At Fort de la Presentation markers were recently placed to lay the groundwork and provide a visual aid for locations of building that will eventually be built.

All of these projects fall within the area proposed for development in the city’s application for the Downtown Revitalization Grant.

Icing on the cake for the city is the recent expansion of the Ogdensburg Airport, which now provides flights to Washington D.C. and Chicago as well as Florida.

“There was some disappointment last year when we didn’t apply for the DRI. But that gave us more time to prepare and identify potential projects. I think we are in a much better position now than we were last year,” she said.

Attending the meeting were representatives from the Frederic Remington Museum, Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce, Ogdensburg Pride and Beautification Commission, local businessmen, residents and actor and filmmaker Mark Valley.

Smith said she was pleased with turnout and enthusiasm at the meeting and his hoping to incorporate some the ideas into the application.