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Existing, new businesses will create jobs with $100G OBPA grant

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A $100,000 grant from the federal Northern Border Regional Commission to install high-speed telecommunications fiber optic lines in the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority’s Commerce Park light industrial park will create jobs at businesses already there as well as ones that are being courted. The OBPA board on Wednesday agreed unanimously to accept the grant.

“It’s a great opportunity for us,” said OBPA Executive Director Wade A. Davis. “It’s very important to us.”

Commerce Park is home to 28 businesses that employ more than 500 people. Mr. Davis declined to identify who’ll be doing the hiring of up to 100 workers.

“It’s from both existing and new businesses,” he said.

Last month, two Commerce Park tenants, DeFelsko Corp. at 802 Proctor Ave., and A.N. Deringer Inc. next door at 800 Proctor Ave., announced a combined expansion and relocation that will create 55 new jobs between them. DeFelsko is a manufacturer of coating thickness gauges and precision instruments and Deringer is a customs brokerage.

In other business on Wednesday, the OBPA board:

—Unanimously approved a one-year lease with ACCO for a total of $96,000 to rent 40,000 square feet of space in the port of Ogdensburg for temporary storage. ACCO is moving most of its manufacturing and distribution operations from its Brampton, Ontario, plant to its 300,000-square-foot distribution center in the city at 941 ACCO Way. The Illinois-based office supplies company is also moving the manufacturing arm of its 140,000-square-foot plant at 263 ACCO Drive, town of Oswegatchie, to the distribution center, keeping 140 employees in one place.

The company has recently hired 23 people and will add more, including calling back laid-off workers.

“They’re in transition right now,” said OBPA Director of Commercial and Industrial Development John A. Rishe.

—Unanimously approved a renewed one-year lease with the Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce to again rent 1,054 square feet of office space at the authority’s Bridge Plaza building.

The year’s rent is $9,000, of which the authority will continue to subsidize with a $5,000 stipend to the chamber’s budget.

It is money well-spent, according to board vice chairman Frederick J. Carter Sr.

“These people work hard for the whole area,” he said. “They do a fantastic job.”

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