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Assemblywoman Russell secures $25,000 for Fort La Presentation work

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OGDENSBURG - Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa, has secured $25,000 in funding to help with ongoing efforts to someday resurrect the 1749 fort that once stood on Lighthouse Point.

Ms. Russell made the announcement shortly before noon Wednesday at an outdoor gathering at the foot of a momument marking the site of Fort La Presenatation. In making the announcmeent, Ms. Russell told city and regional officials in attendance, as well as members of the Fort La Presentation Association, that the site they were standing on is a “fantastic asset” to the north country.

“We rely on tourism as a cornerstone,” Ms. Russell said. “We have some off the best assets here in Ogdensburg in terms of heritage tourism, and we are not just talking about bringing in money from nearby people in the community. We are bringing money from an international community. It’s not just Canada. It’s from people around the globe who want to come to this fantastic St. Lawrence River Valley.”

Ms. Russell said the $25,000 she has secured is a member item from the state budget and will used by the fort association to further enhance the area around the site’s monument, and link with a planned waterfront walking trail that will include a series of interpretive signs illustrating the site’s history to include the area’s pre-colonial Native American occupation, as well as the historic Forts La Presentation, Oswegatchie and Rensselaer.

“The funds that I have been able to secure will help tie in this monument area into the larger strategic plan for this site,” Ms. Russell said.

The latest funding for Fort La Presentation will also play a part in a larger plan plan to someday rebuild the 1749 fort and settlement area to include walking trails and a visitor interprestive center.

The planned Historic and Interpretive Center at Lighthouse Point is expected to house educational and interpretive facilities, a small theater for lectures and video presentations, curation space for artifacts, office space and rest rooms, according to officials.

In 2013, the association was awarded a $352,650 grant from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation to build a one-mile walking trail. When completed next year, the walking trail project is expected to cost about $470,000, with the remainder of the money coming from grants and other funding. Work on the walking trail has yet to begin, pending final contract considerations with developers.

The entire Fort La Presentation project could cost as much as $5 million when completed, according to officials.

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