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Ogdensburg home rehabilitation program gears up for phase two, on schedule

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OGDENSBURG — The second phase in a multiyear home renovation project is gearing up as the city solicits bids from contractors for work at four Ford Street locations.

Bids will be opened Feb. 28 at the Warneck Pump Station in Watertown.

The project began in 2012 when the city, working with the Development Authority of the North Country, was awarded a $400,000 grant to rehabilitate 12 owner-occupied homes on Ford Street.

The grant money was awarded by the Housing Trust Fund Corp., a subsidiary of state Homes and Community Renewal.

Already two projects have been completed – 1726 and 1212 Ford St. – and three more homes will be completed over the coming months.

Work on 618 Ford St. is expected to be completed within several weeks, and construction will follow at 1032 and 1336 Ford St. later this year, according to city Planning and Development Director Andrea L. Smith.

Ms. Smith said Ford Street is an ideal location for the work because it is one of the “gateways to the city.”

The five homes under construction are being done by contractor Tim Wunder of Wunder’s All Trades, Norfolk, and Ms. Smith said both the city and the participants in the program have been “very happy” with the work.

Ms. Smith said the city is hoping to bring other contractors on board in phase two, however, so that multiple projects can be completed at the same time.

The next homes slated for rehabilitation are at 1118, 1719, 1828 and 2001 Ford St., Ms. Smith said, adding that each project’s scope has been detailed by the city and the Development Authority with the help of Code Enforcement Officer Gregg A. Mallette.

Some homes will receive extensive and visible rehabilitation, including the installation of vinyl siding, roofing and windows. Other homes won’t have an obvious exterior update but will have new furnaces or flooring put in.

In addition to working on electrical systems, plumbing, siding and roofing, the city is leveraging the grant money to get additional aid from the St. Lawrence County Community Development Program to provide money for new doors, windows and energy efficiency upgrades, Ms. Smith said.

She said the program is “on target” for completion in 2015 and has stayed within its budget constraints.

Each home rehabilitation has a cap of $30,000.

Ms. Smith said the city and Development Authority are working closely with contractors to ensure the projects don’t go over budget.

“I think it’s worked out really well for us,” she said.

In order for homeowners to participate in the project Ms. Smith said, they had to demonstrate need and income eligibility.

Household income for a home of one could not exceed $32,350, for example, with the scale reaching $60,950 for a family of eight.

Ms. Smith said the city is not accepting any more applications to participate in the program.

“We’re always looking for projects like this,” Ms. Smith said. “They are great for our city; they are great for our community.”

Contractors looking to bid on the program or wanting more information should log onto www.ogdensburg.org or www.danc.org/procurement or call Terry Belden from the Development Authority at 661-3210.

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