Ogdensburg Mayor Says City Might Be Better Off Without Grant Program
Was a federal housing rehabilitation program a good fit for Ogdensburg? Mayor Bill Nelson says while it was positive in some ways, he's not sure the city should have ever gotten involved in it in the first place.
Nelson says the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) may have been geared to more heavily populated urban areas and wasn't a good fit for Ogdensburg.
"While it's set up for a large city, we were able to adapt it to the city of Ogdensburg and it did have some positive impacts on the community," Nelson said.
"Unfortunately," he added, "some of the issues associated with the NSP program we've been working through and we know we're coming to the conclusion with these properties through the sale and rehabilitation and closing those properties out."
The program was created as part of a federal stimulus package and ended up at the center of a housing controversy where a family was allowed to live in a city-owned Knox Street house rent- and tax-free for three years.
The scandal cost former City Manager Art Sciorra his job while the former city planner, Justin Woods, who administered the program, left to take a job in Ticonderoga.
The Ogdensburg city council will meet February 29 to act on selling rehabilitated properties on Knox and Grove streets.
The city would have to sell the properties at the appraised value or it would be required to pay back the $200,000 in grant funds.
Thursday, May 23, 2013, Watertown, NY
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