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River Agency approves $476,052 for economic development projects

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LOUISVILLE – St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency members on Tuesday approved grants totaling $476,052 for 11 community projects aimed at economic development.

The River Agency received $16 million in funding from the New York Power Authority in 2010. Each year, the river agency board and St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency’s Local Development Corp. review applications and award portions of the funds for economic development within the county.

This year, applicants requested over $2.9 million in assistance. Twelve out of 41 applications were approved:

n Massena Business Development Corp. received $15,000 for marketing and video promotion in Massena and the St. Lawrence Valley Region.

n St. Lawrence-North Country Foundation received $25,000 as part of its two-year funding toward the FISHCAP initiative, which looks to make St. Lawrence County the fishing capital of the world.

n Massena Country Club received $20,000 to replace field maintenance equipment.

n St. Lawrence County Fire Training Facility received $42,982 to replace the foundation for its training facility.

n Friends of Robert Moses Nature Center, Massena, received $15,000 for a covered gazebo.

n The town of Colton received $17,500 for construction of trailside facilities.

n The town of Lisbon received $134,000 towards its water and sewer and electric hook ups for its campground.

n The town of Louisville received $90,000 to replace its fuel oil boiler with wood pellet boiler.

n The town of Madrid received $60,000 to refurbish concrete on dam abutments and the crown of the spillway.

n The town of Waddington received 40,000 to improve handicapped access to its Town Hall.

n The village of Norwood received $16,570 for renovations to its band shell.

Before the funds can be allocated, the grants must be approved by the IDA, which is expected at today’s or next month’s meeting, according to agency CEO Patrick J. Kelly.

“As with last year it was a deliberative process,” Mr. Kelly said. “They’ve selected a number of projects throughout the county with the objective of providing economic assistance to a number of community development projects and initiatives.”

The board initially reserved approximately $622,000 this year for community grant allocations. The total amount of grants allocated this year is $571,052. In April, the board approved a $95,000 grant to the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority to build an access road to its St. Lawrence River port. River agency Chairman Robert McNeil said there is still approximately $50,000 left.

“We are looking to discuss the remaining funds at our next meeting,” Mr. McNeil said. “Right now we’re pleased with the allocations so far. They are great projects — ones that we thought were the best fit for community and economic development — and we’re glad to have chosen them.”

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