The City of Ogdensburg received 384 applications for the Individual Household Assistance Program since it opened the program last month. The cutoff for Round 1 funding consideration closed on 6 May 2022. Funds for the City's Community Support Program are being provided by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that was received by all levels of local government in the summer of 2021. Mayor Jeffrey M. Skelly committed from the inception of the City receiving these funds that it would be used to significantly to support the residents of the City of Ogdensburg and not entirely used to support new or expanded government programs. In the first two phases of the program, Small Business and Non-Profit organizations were the priority for support with approximately $174,000 disbursed. Phase 3 has approximately $260,000 to be disbursed and those funds will begin award during the month of May. The City intends to request St. Lawrence County match the amount it has contributed to the Individual Household Assistance Program from the $20.9 MILLION it received last summer. Residents of the City of Ogdensburg should contact County Legislator James Reagan, Dave Forsythe, William Sheridan, Kevin Acres and County Treasurer Renee Cole and request they support the Mayor's request for matching funds. City of Ogdensburg residents are also residents of St. Lawrence County, and each of pay hefty property taxes to the County; please demand these County officials contribute to this progressive program that will directly support City residents that need it most.
Due to the overwhelming positive response to Phase 3 of the program, applications will be prioritized by household income level and criticality of the projects submitted. Three household income levels were established during the application period and two project criticality level are now established. Project criticality level 1 projects will be those projects that are for heating, electrical and plumbing safety, imminent roof or structural failure, ingress and egress safety or any condition that threatens the health and welfare of occupants. Project criticality level 2 will be all other projects submitted. Applications for projects at the primary residence of the applicant will have priority. Applications will continue to be accepted until 27 May 2022 for all phases of the Community Support Program should funding become available for a second round of disbursement.
Review of applications received during Round 1 will begin next week, and the City expects to begin making awards within the next 10 days. Applicants will be contacted, as needed, to obtain any additional information beyond what was required at the time of application. Please be patient, the City will provide a status to each applicant as soon as possible.
Since taking office in January 2020, Mayor Jeffrey M. Skelly committed to saving the City of Ogdensburg from the near bankrupt financial conditions that existed from the mismanagement of the previous city council; that commitment is being kept. Equally, Mayor Skelly committed to working on the revival of the City using the simple premise that assisting the residents of the City is the most efficient and sustainable path to accomplish that goal. Local government, state government and the federal
government do not know how to spend your money better than you do.