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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Housing authority gets $428G grant

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The Ogdensburg Housing Authority has received a $428,306 federal grant to plan for renovations and improvements to its subsidized residences in 2013.

Executive Director William J. Seymour Jr. said Wednesday that the grant was approved earlier this month as part of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development annual capital fund allocations to subsidized housing authorities like Ogdensburg.

The funds will be divided between three authority residences, the Belmont Courts apartment complex at Park and Jay streets and the neighboring high-rise apartment buildings at State and Washington streets, Riverview Towers and Centennial Terrace.

“Most of the money will go to Belmont Courts,” Mr. Seymour said, explaining that $220,000 has been earmarked for new roofing for all 19 of its two-floor apartment buildings.

Mr. Seymour said Belmont Courts hasn’t had a roof change in about 15 years. Its shingle roofing has proven to be especially vulnerable to wind and metal is being considered for next time.

The other products include $60,000 for improvements to the trash disposal system and new fluorescent lights at Riverview Towers and $10,000 each for heat pumps and valves for the neighboring apartment towers. The rest of the funds will

be used to cover authority salaries and administrative costs.

Mr. Seymour said the next step will be for the authority to meet with its architect and discuss designs and specifications. That should take up to four months so none of the projects are expected to get done this year. That is standard procedure where the hiring of contractors and actual work follows the release of funds by a year.

This year’s authority project will begin next month. They for Riverview, Centennial and Park View Rise at Jay and Park streets, toilets and vanities for all 50 apartments at Park View Rise, basement window replacement at Riverview and hallway and other common area carpeting at Park View Rise.

Mr. Seymour said SRI Fire Sprinkler LLC, East Syracuse, will do the sprinkler work. It submitted the sole bid of $15,000.

Burns Bros, Contractors Inc., Potsdam, submitted a lowest of five bids of $78,700 for the toilets, vanities and window replacement jobs.

The $28,334 low bid for the Park View Rise carpeting job was submitted by a Scottsdale, Ariz., contractor, Continental Flooring. Higher bids were submitted by: Northern Tier Contracting, Gouverneur, $35,600; GP Land and Carpet Corporation. Brockport, $43,753; Gardner’s Floorcovering and Furniture, Ogdensburg, $43,273.75; and Continental Construction, Gouverneur, $29,000.

Mr. Seymour said that federal regulations require that the lowest responsible bids be accepted.

He was, however, told that the firm has a credible track record with other housing authorities in the state.

Authority board member Michael P. Frary figures that Continental will hire a local contractor to do the job.

“It is unfortunate that we have to go all that way for a price,” he said.

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