St. Lawrence County Seal

Seal of St. Lawrence County. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

OGDENSBURG — A $535,000 federal grant will be used to help launch a new sawmill facility in the vacant ACCO Brand’s building on Route 37, town of Oswegatchie.

The funding was awarded to the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency through the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Northern Border Regional Commission.

IDA Executive Director Patrick J. Kelly said the money will assist North American Forest Group, Inc., a company owned by Patrick Curran that’s affiliated with his other company, Curran Renewables, Massena.

Mr. Kelly said the funding will be used to buy equipment needed to convert the former ACCO building into a sawmill and warehouse for Mr. Curran’s wood pellet business.

The project is expected to create about 20 jobs at the facility and support roughly 100 jobs in the forest sector, he said.

“We have tremendous natural resources in St. Lawrence County,” Mr. Kelly said. “A great deal that’s harvested here is shipped out. This will enable more value-added processing to be done in St. Lawrence County,” Mr. Kelly said.

The 144,000-square-foot building has been vacant since ACCO consolidated its operations into its distribution center about six years ago.

U.S. Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both D-N.Y., issued a joint statement about the federal funding.

“This federal investment to build a new logging facility in the town of Oswegatchie will be a shot in the arm to the north country economy, helping to bring new good-paying jobs to the region,” Mr. Schumer said.

The funding was allocated through EDA supported sustainable economic development initiatives throughout the United States. The NBRC is a federal-state partnership that invests in economic and community development projects.

“This funding is great news and an investment for the town of Oswegatchie. With this funding, the St. Lawrence Industrial Development Agency will be able to turn a vacant building into a new facility for log handling, sawing, and finishing,” Ms. Gillibrand said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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