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Carthage EDCC dissolves; village resumes loan program

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CARTHAGE — It’s the end of an era for economic development in the Carthage area: Businesses no longer will be able to turn to the Economic Development Corporation of Carthage when in financial need.

However, as one door closes, another opens — the administration of the revolving loan will revert to the village board from which it came.

The village Board of Trustees formed the EDCC to oversee a revolving-loan program that began with repayments of loans the village issued from a federal $1.78 million Urban Development Action Grant to build the West End Dam in 1986.

Due to changes in the way industrial development authorities are administered, the EDCC board decided in August to begin the process of dissolving the organization.

At the Dec. 5 meeting, the board authorized EDCC President Derek C. Davis to sign the necessary legal documents provided by attorney Mark G. Gebo.

“The auditing and reporting result in significant financial commitments,” Mr. Gebo said.

Mr. Gebo said the loan funds already were under the auspices of the village, and suggested a committee be formed to review loan applications and advise village trustees.

Once Mr. Davis signs the plan for dissolution, Mr. Gebo will file a petition with the state Supreme Court, the attorney said.

The petition then will be reviewed by the state attorney general and must be signed by the secretary of state in order to be finalized.

The EDCC board voted to dissolve as of Dec. 31 to “have a clean start to the calendar year with the village,” as Mr. Gebo advised.

John F. McHugh, community development coordinator and EDCC board member, suggested members of the current EDCC could serve on a loan committee since they are familiar with the process.

Once a committee is formed, Mr. McHugh said, its members should review and update the loan guidelines to reflect that the EDCC no longer exists.

EDCC board member Terrence L. Roche asked if loans to businesses outside the village would be banned — it had been a policy of the EDCC that 60 percent of the total funds should stay inside the village, and 40 percent could be used in surrounding areas.

Mr. McHugh said the EDCC has made loans in the greater Carthage area if they are deemed to be for the betterment of the village.

He also said the committee would be making only recommendations, not final decisions, which would be up to members of the village Board of Trustees.

“During the past three decades, the EDCC has done yeoman’s work,” Mr. Gebo said, reflecting on his service to the EDCC since 1988.

“Look at the loans done, the business entities funded through the EDCC. It all reflects the good work you’ve done.”

Throughout the past 25 years, the EDCC has made a number of loans to help establish businesses and to keep them afloat in the Carthage area.

The EDCC has made several loans to Carthage Area Hospital and helped to establish the Carthage Chamber of Commerce directory. It also assisted with the construction of Carthage Foodland, now Carthage Market.

The local development corporation also has made loans to Carthage Fiber Drum, Carthage Machine and Metro Paper, helped to restore the downtown area following the 2002 block fire and assisted with the development of apartments and business space at 256 State St.

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