Library, art museum unlikely to see funding from Ogdensburg

Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 4:04 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - As the city of Ogdensburg faces a $3.5 million deficit, a couple of organizations likely won’t get the funding from the city that they hoped for.

The Ogdensburg Public Library and the Remington Art Museum requested American Rescue Plan Act funds from the city, but funding for each of the organizations was voted down by city councilors last week.

Doug McDonald, director of the museum says that he made a request to use city ARPA funds to help pay for general expenses and pay off a $62,000 debt.

McDonald said that when the museum first opened in 1923, it was written down that the city would always be there to support its needs.

“I was very optimistic. We’ve had support from the city of Ogdensburg for a hundred years. Next year is our hundred anniversary. This is the first year, to my knowledge, that we received no support from the city,” he said.

Penny Kerfien, the director of the library, says that the library needs funds to pay the city back on its own debt.

“In all actuality, that amount is for a bond that we had gone to the city for eight years ago to help put on a new roof here at the library. So that’s a payment we’ve done every year,” she said.

Of the ARPA funds left over, Ogdensburg has about $138,000 left. City Manager Stephen Jellie says the ARPA funding could be revisited by city council.

Meanwhile, city councillors are currently working on next year’s budget and there’s also no money for the library or museum out of the city’s general fund.

Jellie says last year was the final year for funding the Remington museum under a 5-year transition plan and points out that the library now gets funding through a direct library tax.