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OBPA gets $100,000 fiber optics grant

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OGDENSBURG — The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the federal Northern Border Regional Commission to install high-speed telecommunications fiber optic lines in its Commerce Park light industrial park.

The grant was announced Monday by the New York Department of State.

OBPA Executive Director Wade A. Davis said in a prepared statement that the grant “provides critical communication infrastructure for the industrial park. It promotes business initiatives consistent with regional council and federal infrastructure goals. We’re very grateful to the NBRC and our elected officials who recognize and support this business-critical communication need.”

The OBPA’s application for the grant explained the agency’s goals.

“Commerce Park is home to 28 businesses that employ over 500 residents,” the application stated. “Funding for this application will address this critical infrastructure need and will conservatively help to influence the creation of 100 new jobs in the region as the economy improves and the space begins to fill up in the industrial park.”

The fiber optic lines will be installed in cooperation with the Development Authority of the North Country. The completed project is expected to attract several new industries that state officials claim rely on telecommunications infrastructure.

Details on the new industries were unavailable.

The state agency welcomed the news.

“A twenty-first century communications infrastructure is a prerequisite to attract growing businesses, as is making smart investments to support our growing intermodal platforms,” said New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales in a prepared statement. “These NBRC grants bolster the economic vitality of region, and complement Governor Cuomo’s regional approach to economic development.”

DANC agreed.

“The Development Authority of the North Country is pleased to be working with the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority (OBPA) in implementing this NBRC Grant,” said Dave Wolf, general manager for telecommunications. “Pre-positioning the OBPA Business Parks with open access broadband fiber will help the OBPA attract and retain businesses in this important industrial development area and should encourage investment and job creation in St. Lawrence County.”

Also, the Port of Oswego Authority was awarded $192,000 to construct a rail spur and additional rail car storage at the only intermodal deep-water port on the U.S. side of Lake Ontario.

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