Lewis County projects receive financial support from local community fund

Lewis County projects and programs will receive added financial boosts from the geographically specific funds administered through the Northern New York Community Foundation.

The Michael Brown Fund has been supplemented with a bequest from late longtime Lewis County resident Mr. Brown, and, beginning in 2015, will offer $25,000 annually to the greater Lowville area. Community Foundation Executive Director Rande S. Richardson said that funds, combined with awards through the George R. Davis Fund, will go toward parks, projects, school needs and historic preservation.

“Word has spread,” he said, regarding the availability of Lewis County-specific grant awards through the foundation.

The George Davis Fund committee, made up of the superintendent of Lowville Academy and Central School, clerk for the Lewis County judge and the Lowville mayor, reviewed more than $58,000 in funding requests, which Mr. Richardson said was the “largest request pool yet.”

“That illustrates the need and interest for resources available,” he said.

Mr. Davis selected the three aforementioned positions as the review committee, as he served as Lewis County judge for more than 20 years. He died in 2010, and lived in Lowville most of his life.

The board approved on Tuesday the committee’s recommendations totaling $10,000. Nearly $30,000 has been awarded through the George Davis Fund over the past few years. Grants awarded were:

■ $2,000 to the town of Lowville for continued restoration of historic gravestones at Jackson Street cemetery.

■ $2,000 to the Lewis County Agricultural Society to purchase a gazebo as part of an improvement project for the entrance of the Lewis County Fairgrounds.

■ $2,000 to the village of Lowville to assist with the purchase of pole-mounted lights to be used for new Christmas decoration displays in the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial park.

■ $500 to the Lowville Food Pantry to purchase school supplies as part of the organization’s “Stuff the Bus” event, which will benefit local youths in need.

■ $500 to First Presbyterian Church to support the Stow Square monument project.

■ $3,000 to the Lewis County Historical Society in support of the organization’s floor renovation project. The project also was funded by grants from the Community Foundation’s board-designated grant-making fund and the Michael Brown Fund.

Mr. Richardson said the Community Foundation is working out implementation details for the latter fund, as board members will figure out how the awarding of the $25,000 in grants annually will play out. Up until now, grants were awarded through the Michael Brown Fund as needed, Mr. Richardson said.

By Rebecca Madden, Times Staff Writer

Ogdensburg manufacturing company expanding; hopes for 50 new jobs

A city manufacturing company that has been doing business in the community for 50 years has begun demolition and construction work on a major expansion that could create 50 new jobs over the next decade.

DeFelsko Corp., 802 Proctor Ave., is a leading U.S. manufacturer of coating thickness gages and inspection instruments used for industrial painting. The business was founded almost 50 years ago by the late Frank J. Koch.

In September, DeFelsko purchased the neighboring A.N. Deringer Inc. building at the Ogdensburg Commerce Park to accommodate the expansion, and demolition of the structure is underway, according to DeFelsko President David J. Beamish. He said a new facility will be built at the site, and the expansion will almost triple the company’s capacity to more than 38,000 square feet. In addition to a modern electronic assembly area, the new building will house sales, marketing, accounting and shipping departments. The company employs 70 people.

“This acquisition will allow DeFelsko to expand to meet the demands of its growing business,” Mr. Beamish said. “In the past few years DeFelsko has expanded its product range and introduced successful new technologies which have increased the production requirements of the existing facility.” [Read more…]

A new watering hole

 Co-owners of Wood Boat Brewery, Michael Hazlewood, left, and Lance Peterson, right, hold up growlers at the bar of the new brewery in Clayton, which is being opened this summer. Amanda Morrison / NNY Business

Co-owners of Wood Boat Brewery, Michael Hazlewood, left, and Lance Peterson, right, hold up growlers at the bar of the new brewery in Clayton, which is being opened this summer. Amanda Morrison / NNY Business

Pub across from boat museum offers local beers, spirits [Read more…]

Small Business Startup: Smooth Sailing

NORM JOHNSTON n WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES  Brett Kessler charter captainFor one Army retiree, setting sail on Lake Ontario is more than just another new hobby. [Read more…]

Flying Solo

How three men decided to risk it all and go it alone [Read more…]

End of an era

Lunman’s Furniture to close after store’s 62-year run [Read more…]

North country nonprofits awarded $623,000 for affordable housing projects

Two north country nonprofits will receive a total of $623,000 to rehabilitate about two dozen affordable housing units in Jefferson County.

Neighbors of Watertown will receive $350,000 for its Jefferson County First Time Homebuyer Assistance Program, aiding the acquisition and rehabilitation of approximately 10 affordable homes in Jefferson County. North Country Affordable Housing will receive $273,000 for the rehabilitation of 13 affordable units. [Read more…]

Watertown real estate developer recognized with gold business award in Chicago

Brian Murray’s company Washington Street Properties was recognized as the 2014 Real Estate Company of the Year at the 12th annual American Business Awards. Amanda Morrison / NNY Business

Brian Murray’s company Washington Street Properties was recognized as the 2014 Real Estate Company of the Year at the 12th annual American Business Awards. Amanda Morrison / NNY Business

A real estate company that has renovated several properties in the city in recent years attracted national recognition for its work this weekend.

Washington Street Properties, formed in 2007 by Brian H. Murray, was recognized as the 2014 Real Estate Company of the Year at the 12th annual American Business Awards on Friday in Chicago.

“Three other real estate companies were selected as finalists, so we knew we were in the final four, but it was definitely a big surprise when we won,” Mr. Murray said.

The company has purchased and rehabilitated a number of buildings in and around Watertown, including the lower level of the building that houses Convergys on Arsenal Street, the Lincoln Building on Public Square, the Solar Building, the former Hospice Foundation of Jefferson County Inc. building at 425 Washington St., the Top of the Square plaza and the Palmer Street and College Heights apartments.

Mr. Murray said the company’s approach to real estate development, which often involves renovating neglected properties and leasing them to startups and small businesses, has set it apart from the competition and helped its success. [Read more…]

First tenant slated for outer Washington Street business park

A Washington Street cardiology practice will be the first tenant to move into a business park that Purcell Construction Corp. is developing on 30 acres off outer Washington Street.

Cardiology Associates of NNY, now in leased space in the Samaritan Medical Center, will occupy half of a 7,000-square-foot medical office building once it is finished by Oct. 1, a company spokesman said. [Read more…]

Learning with Legos is niche of Bricks 4 Kidz in Watertown

Stephanie M. Widrick has launched an education-oriented business called Bricks 4 Kidz in Watertown. Photo courtesy Bricks 4 Kidz

Stephanie M. Widrick has launched an education-oriented business called Bricks 4 Kidz in Watertown. Photo courtesy Bricks 4 Kidz

Offering educational activities with Lego bricks for children, former elementary school teacher Stephanie M. Widrick has launched Bricks 4 Kidz.

Weeklong summer camps, after-school classes and birthday parties are hosted by the education-oriented business, Mrs. Widrick said. She completed training offered by the corporate franchise in St. Augustine, Fla., to launch the Watertown franchise this year. The business, which does not have a storefront, will host activities at the Watertown Fairgrounds YMCA, Cici’s Pizza and classrooms at the Watertown and Immaculate Heart school districts. Summer camps at the YMCA, offered for children ages 5 through 12, will kick off in July and run through August. Registration is available online at http://wdt.me/bo2z5v.

Bricks 4 Kidz is permitted by Lego to use its products for educational activities. Geared toward different grade levels, the curriculum enables children to complete a range of Lego projects with different themes and levels of difficulty, Mrs. Widrick said. Activities might range from creating simple animals, for instance, to building more complicated machines with moving parts powered by small motors. [Read more…]