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Growth Fund board member resigns

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Ogdensburg Development Corporation board member James McCarthy has resigned after six years of service to the city’s small business lending agency since 2007.

Mr. McCarthy said his increased job responsibilities as the Ogdensburg City School District’s buildings and grounds supervisor made it impossible for him to regularly attend the Growth Fund’s 8 a.m. meetings.

Nevertheless, he said, it was a satisfying experience.

“It was very rewarding,” Mr. McCarthy said. “It helped a lot of small businesses that didn’t have anywhere else to go.”

Mr. McCarthy said a high point of his board service was the Growth Fund’s 2007 controversial purchase for $175,000 and subsequent renovation of the former post office building at 420 Ford St.

It was perceived by some as an ill-advised competition with private real estate agencies.

“We caught a lot of flack for that,” Mr. McCarthy said.

Watertown eye doctor Dr. Noaman Sanni eventually bought the building for $350,000, opening a Center for Sight office there, lending downtown a much-wanted business presence.

Mr. McCarthy’s resignation leaves the Growth Fund roster with Chairman and Mayor William D. Nelson and members City Manager John M. Pinkerton, Scott M. Wright, Samuel J. LaMacchia, Lori Smithers Dallas Sutton and Gary Hammond.

Mr. Nelson said Tuesday that a replacement would be sought soon for city council approval.

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