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Oswegatchie considering tax exemption for riverfront development

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OGDENSBURG — United Helpers is hoping to secure some property tax relief on behalf of a potential buyer of its undeveloped property along State Highway 68.

The 24.7-acre parcel sits across from the United Helpers RiverLedge Campus, 8101 Route 68. The property’s 1,605 feet of St. Lawrence River frontage is being touted as a prime site for housing.

In a letter to the Oswegatchie Town Council, United Helpers CEO Stephen E. Knight asked board members to waive all or a portion of the taxes while a potential buyer subdivides the property to create several high-end homes. The investment could lead to a significant increase in the town’s tax base, Mr. Knight said in the letter.

“We have had a couple of inquiries” but no official offers to date, he said.

The property originally was purchased in 1974 for $65,000. The land is now for sale for $1.3 million.

“I don’t know why it was purchased,” Mr. Knight said Monday. “It was determined ... that United Helpers could benefit more from the proceeds of the property than from the property itself.”

The tract sits just west of the Ogdensburg city line. It is included in the Ogdensburg City School District and can be connected to city water lines that serve the United Helpers RiverLedge Campus.

The property also contains the former Pythian Beach.

Town Supervisor Alfred J. Nichols said Monday that Town Assessor Mark L. Schnorr will make the final determination as to whether the land qualifies for tax relief. He was unavailable Monday.

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