Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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April 1, 2005

Oswego County Receives Additional Funding for Brownfields Project

The Oswego County Department of Planning and Community Development will receive $50,000 through the state Brownfields Opportunity Area (BOA) program to expand upon the Oswego Canal Corridor brownfield project.

The funding will augment the $400,000 grant the county has already received from the federal Environmental Protection Agency to prioritize and study brownfield sites along the Oswego River. It will pay for additional assessments of brownfields as the county prepares an economic feasibility study of the area.

"The redevelopment of the Canal Corridor is critical to our economic well-being," said County Legislature Chairman Russ Johnson, District 25, Fulton. "The brownfield funding from New York State allows us to leverage another source of funds to assess and then remediate some of these sites."

According to Brian Frazier, director of the County Department of Planning and Community Development, Oswego County applied for $50,000 through the program last June. The awards were recently announced by Governor George E. Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

The grant will allow the county to "more fully analyze the environmental, real estate and economic data gathered during the inventory of brownfield sites, and prioritize those sites for economic development," said Frazier. The Oswego Canal Corridor includes over 16,000 acres of property on both sides of the Oswego River, from Oswego Harbor to Three Rivers. More than 70 vacant or underutilized properties have been identified as suspect brownfield sites.

"This area was at one time the industrial heart of Oswego County," he said. "Now it suffers from some of the highest unemployment rates, highest poverty rates and lowest per capita income in the state. To reverse this negative trend, developers, investors and other business entities must be attracted to the area through liability assurances and economic incentives. The county can provide these through the New York State brownfield program's initiatives."

For additional information, contact Frazier at the county Department of Planning and Community Development, phone 349-8292 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 8292.

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