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Ogdensburg Growth Fund looks to DANC for cost estimate help

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With the help of the Development Authority of the North Country, the Ogdensburg Growth Fund Development Corp. is hoping to find out exactly how much it would cost to rehabilitate a city home for resale.

The home in question, 611 Rensselaer Ave., was acquired by the city of Ogdensburg in a tax sale in 2012 for $2,993.77. The Growth Fund Board of Directors is considering using it as a test case for a city-wide plan to buy city-owned comes, fix them and sell them to get them back on the tax roll.

The goal is beefing up the city’s tax base, City Manager and Growth Fund member John M. Pinkerton said.

Fund board members currently have no idea how much it would cost to renovate 611 Rensselaer Ave.

The home was stripped of its aluminum siding before the city acquired it.

Mr. Pinkerton said the fund hopes to partner with DANC on this project so they can get a solid estimate of how much repairs will cost.

The Growth Fund has an operating budget of $61,500 for 2014.

Carrie Tuttle, DANC’s director of engineering, confirmed that the two organizations are hashing out the details of a partnership for the project.

Mr. Pinkerton said he expects to have more details about the contract with DANC and the home they are considering within a week.

“We’re doing due diligence to see if it makes sense to go forward,” Mr. Pinkerton said of the plan.

Mr. Pinkerton cautioned that Growth Fund members have a long way to go before their plan is fully in motion, and said it will ultimately be up to the Ogdensburg City Council whether the city will offer the property to the Growth Fund for sale.

“Nothing can go forward without council approval,” he said.

The plan to buy and sell homes has become the central part of a pivot by the Growth Fund in recent months to reinvent itself as an independent economic development authority and distance itself from city government.

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