Bedbug talk to headline Ogdensburg City Council meeting


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OGDENSBURG — Bedbugs will top the agenda at tonight’s City Council meeting, an issue that has sparked debate for several weeks now, following an outbreak of the critters at one of the community’s public housing complexes.

Opening the council meeting at 7 p.m. will be a presentation by William Seymour, executive director of the Ogdensburg Housing Authority. He will be accompanied by Patricia Redden-Sargent, chairwoman of the Ogdensburg Housing Authority Board.

The two representatives will address a recent bed bug infestation at Centennial Terrace and Riverview Towers, a high-rise Housing and Urban Development controlled apartment complex on Washington Street.

The issue came to light after residents began complaining publicly that housing authority officials, including Mr. Seymour, are moving too slowly in trying to eradicate the biting pests.

Elected officials in the city have also expressed concerns that if not exterminated, the pests could spread to other residential and business neighborhoods in the community.

City Councilor Daniel E. Skamperle said he wants the problem taken care of as quickly as possible because he fears the bugs could easily be transported on clothing, bags or other items to various parts of the city.

In addition to dealing with the public housing unit’s bedbug infestation, city councilors will hear from Ogdensburg Planning and Development Director Andrea L. Smith at tonight’s meeting.

Ms. Smith will inform elected officials about a proposal to apply for a fresh round of Restore NY grant funding. City planning officials propose teaming up with the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency to rehabilitate the former Newell Manufacturing building on Paterson Street into a turnkey industrial facility that could be marketed to Canadian businesses.

Ms. Smith is proposing that the city apply for approximately $1,3 million in state grant funding for the project.

The Newell building plan is one of two the municipality is seeking state grant money for in an effort to bring new economic development to the community.

Also being sought by city planning officials is some $5.5 million in grant money, that, if secured, would be used to complete environmental cleanup and infrastructure work at the city’s Diamond-Shade Roller brownfield site.

The city has been working for decades on cleaning up the area for redevelopment.

Following Ms. Smith’s presentation, the council will vote on several resolutions related to the proposal, including authorizing the city manager to enter into an agreement with the county IDA related to the project.


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