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Fire training center financing in place

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WEST POTSDAM - A financing package that could allow construction of the St. Lawrence County Fire Training Facility has been approved by the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency’s Civic Development Corp.

Organizers of the project, which is not a part of county government but which trains volunteer firefighters, have struggled to find public funding because they are not a fire department.

County volunteers have had to leave the county for training on a live fire simulator since the old facility was condemned in 2008.

The Civic Development Corp. of the IDA will provide bridge financing of $290,000, IDA Executive Director Patrick J. Kelly said.

The funding is contingent on agreements for grants of $100,000 each that were procured for the project by Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa, and state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton.

The balance of $90,000 will be repaid over 10 years, with revenue matching a lease agreement the training facility has with the county.

An additional $60,000 grant from the River Valley Redevelopment Agency will pay for an annex building.

The project provides an important service when it comes to training local volunteers, Mr. Kelly said.

“This facility is not only beneficial to firefighters but it keeps insurance costs lower for residents,” he said.

Neither Dale W. Gardner or Robert E. Kerr, cochairmen of fundraising for the facility, was available to answer questions on when construction might start.

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