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Ogdensburg wants waterfront, highway signs

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OGDENSBURG — One by land and one by sea is how the city wants to promote itself to out-of-town visitors.

The city’s decision last week to apply for state funds for “Welcome to Ogdensburg” signage will focus on two high-profile locations: the intersection of routes 37 and 68 and the St. Lawrence River waterfront by the Dobisky Center community building. “I think that people want to see something more appealing,” Parks and Recreation Director Matthew J. Curatolo said.

What the city has on the waterfront is a “Welcome to the Ogdensburg Marina” sign that has seen better days. It is stained, faded and cracked, and makes no mention of the Dobisky Center. By contrast, directly below it is a gleaming, new, recently hung sign promoting the Frederic Remington Art Museum. “It’s old,” Mr. Curatolo said of the marina sign. “It needs to be updated.”

The city has nothing to promote itself with at the intersection, and the area in question, along a guardrail at the north end of the traffic circle, is actually in the town of Oswegatchie.

The city would need the town’s permission to erect a sign there. It also would have to decide its placement, as the guardrail itself is covered with more than a dozen smaller signs promoting local restaurants, Ogdensburg Command Performances and civic organizations such as Zonta, Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary.

“It’s all still in the preliminary stages,” Mr. Curatolo said.

The city also wants to enhance the landscaping on the narrow concrete island that separates the intersection’s inbound and outbound lanes.

The Ogdensburg Steering Committee discussed the issue at a meeting Thursday night, interim Planning and Development Director Andrea L. Smith said.

“We did just get council to approve a resolution to apply for the completion and implementation of a portion of the LWRP — Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan — to start looking more in depth at the gateways and the corridors and the signage and also the regulatory aspects of it,” she said Friday. “That is something we have to review as part of the LWRP so we are starting to look more deeply into implementing some of the signage projects that the community gave very vocal support for.”

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