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Ogdensburg Growth Fund looks to sell off Ford Street parking lot

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The Ogdensburg Growth Fund Development Corp. is trying to get out of the parking lot business.

Its members have begun looking at the possibility of selling the lot they own with entrances on Caroline and Ford streets.

Located at 420 Ford St., the parking lot has an appraised value of $22,000, Mayor William D. Nelson said at Wednesday’s Growth Fund meeting.

The parking lot came into the Growth Fund’s possession in 2011 after the Center for Sight bought the former U.S. post office from the fund, but not the adjacent parking lot.

“It’s an asset that we own that we really don’t have the need for anymore,” Mr. Nelson said.

At Wednesday’s meeting the Growth Fund unanimously voted to give Administrative Director Andrea L. Smith the authority to begin checking with businesses in the area to determine their parking needs and find out what interest there may be in the lot.

Mr. Nelson said it’s a .27-acre lot connecting Ford and Caroline streets that could be used for more than just parking.

Besides parking, Mr. Nelson said, the lot could also be a good location for new businesses to build.

Currently the parking lot is plowed in the winter by the city, but the Growth Fund agreed that going forward they need to either sell the lot completely or consider getting upkeep contracts in order.

“I just don’t think it’s the function of the Growth Fund to own a parking lot,” fund Chief Financial Officer Philip A. Cosmo said.

The Growth Fund is also continuing its search for additional member, Mr. Nelson said, as part of a reorganization that will see the board of directors increase to 11 members. Currently there are eight members.

Mr. Nelson said they are not in any hurry to appoint new members and are instead waiting to review applications submitted by interested members of the public.

Applications are available in Ms. Smith’s office in City Hall and will be posted online at http://www.ogdensburg.org/index.aspx?nid=92.

Mr. Nelson said the application includes information about the duties of board members so there are no surprises.

New board members will be appointed by current Growth Fund Board of Directors members.

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