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Basta, Hosmer’s, pride commission chamber honorees

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OGDENSBURG — Flowers, waterfront development and a beautiful city are Ogdensburg’s best for 2013.

Joseph M. Basta has been named the Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce 2013 Citizen of the Year for the Chamber.

Also recognized Thursday with the chamber’s annual honors were Hosmer’s Marina, 54 E. River St., for the Business Improvement Award and the Ogdensburg Pride and Beautification Commission for the Outstanding Community Service Award.

The winners will be honored at the chamber’s annual dinner Nov. 8 at the Gran-View Restaurant.

Mr. Basta’s namesake flower/gift shop and landscape service and greenhouses at 619 Main St. has been an Ogdensburg business community staple since 1949.

He is the 30th annual Citizen of the Year recipient.

“I don’t deserve it,” Mr. Basta, 66, said Thursday. “But I’m certainly honored.”

Chamber Executive Director Sandra M. Porter said Mr. Basta is indeed deserving of the honor.

“Joe is a life-long resident of Ogdensburg and takes great pride in serving his community as a businessman, private citizen and volunteer,” she said in a prepared statement. “Joe’s contributions to his community are many, with just a few of them being supplying at no cost the roses and flowers for the award-winning Save the Psychiatric Center Float in the Seaway Festival Parade, donating and setting up floral arrangements for the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall, helping to clear land for the Fort LaPresentation site, donating flowers to the Ogdensburg Garden Club for the Junior Garden Club, the lights at Montroy Park in memory of Michael J. Basta and so many more acts of generosity over the years.”

Hosmer’s Marina, Ms. Porter said, “has transformed the neglected Lake Street waterfront area of the city into an inviting place to dock your boat, get gas, purchase fishing supplies or visit the Smuggler’s Cafe for lunch or dinner.”

Owner William D. Hosmer didn’t disagree. “We are very honored and humbled to be chosen as the Chamber of Commerce’s business of the year,” he said Thursday from Virginia. “We want to thank the chamber for this honor and we look forward to continuing to expand our services. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the community for their continued support.”

Mr. Hosmer purchased the Oswegatchie River property in 2006, built on it in 2011 and in May 2012 opened for gas, bait and tackle sales. In August 2012, he opened the bar. He began canoe and kayak rentals in May, launched the Hoswegatchie Duathalon series in June and in July opened Smuggler’s Cafe and launched the Oswegatchie Music Festival.

Earlier this month, Mr. Hosmer purchased Sandy’s Custom Tackle to expand fishing operations.

The Pride and Beautification Commission was created in 2000 by newly elected Mayor William D. Nelson.

“Since being commissioned by Mayor Nelson, they have dedicated themselves to making Ogdensburg’s appearance to visitors and residents alike something to take notice of,” Ms. Porter said. “Some of their most recent projects have been River Ride, the spectacular lighted figures and trees along the waterfront near the Dobisky Visitors Center and the mass daffodil plantings along the fence of Fort La Presentation and in Flatiron Park.”

The mayor agreed. “I think it’s a wonderful recognition,” he said. “They’ve done a fantastic job.”

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