The Airbus A320 aircraft makes its way down the taxiway at Ogdensburg International Airport in preparation for take off. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

OGDENSBURG — A special meeting of the Ogdensburg City Council will be held Friday at 4 p.m. on the Gotomeeting.com platform.

The meeting was called by Mayor Jeffery M. Skelly to consider a resolution to sign a security contract with the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority.

A resolution to extend the current security contract with the OBPA for one month failed at Tuesday night’s regular meeting of the City Council when Councilor Michael B. Powers offered an amendment, suggested by Councilor Nichole L. Kennedy, to add a payment term of 30 days to the contract.

The OBPA, over the years of the contract, has been chronically late in paying its security bill.

The amendment and the original resolution failed on 3-3 votes, with Deputy Mayor John Rishe abstaining on both due to his employment with the OBPA.

Mr. Skelly announced in a letter Thursday that a compromise had been reached in which the contract would be extended for three months and the OBPA be given 60 days to pay bills.

“I will support the new 60-day payment requirement being forced by the minority on the city council, but do not agree with its premise of placing more constraints on the bridge and port authority itself. The OBPA is too valuable a resource for the city and region,” Mr. Skelly said.

Councilor Daniel E. Skamperle said he was looking for a compromise Tuesday night when Mr. Skelly cut off conversation on the issue.

“I don’t believe anyone in the ‘minority’ on council had any intentions of removing this important economic driver from our partner the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority and our community,” Mr. Skamperle said in an email Thursday. “I worked very hard to get the airport up and running with compromises in the past and this is no different.”

Councilor Nichole L. Kennedy agreed.

There was no intention by anybody to shut down the airport, she said.

“The OBPA is a great partner, but it has been consistent over the years that payments have been very delayed,” she said.

The new agreement, Ms. Kennedy said, is good for both sides.

“Compromise is key in something like this,” she said. “We were able to compromise.”

Mr. Skelly said that now is not the time to be hard on the OBPA.

“Business and governments big and small are struggling now because of the COVID-19 economic downturn,” he said. “Homeowners are being given extra time to make their mortgage payments, landlords have been told they cannot evict tenants and even credit card companies are helping customers with slow payments.”

The public can pre-register and attend the meeting using by visiting http://wdt.me/vaEgkv or by calling 1-415-655-0052 and entering Access Code -910-373-867.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

St. Lawrence/Franklin County Editor

Slowly self-propelled. Two-time cancer survivor. Nearly 30-year newspaper veteran.

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