March 2016: People on the Move

CITEC Business Solutions names executive director

Carter

Carter

Reg Carter, who joined CITEC Business Solutions in 2013 as a business advisor, has been named the organization’s new executive director.

CITEC is a not-for-profit business consulting organization that helps small and medium-sized enterprises in Northern New York to thrive.

Since joining the organization, Mr. Carter has led the delivery of executive services, including working with the leaders of the north country in the areas of strategic planning, business assessments, succession planning and executive coaching with companies. [Read more…]

June 2015: Executive Corner

Common sense change management

Columnist Bill Murray

Columnist Bill Murray

“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change that is the dominant factor in society today.” — Isaac Asimov [Read more…]

April 2015: Executive Corner

Execute change with process focus

Columnist Reg Carter

Columnist Reg Carter

We last discussed our “Top 5” operational drivers that are most impactful on daily business success. The five concepts we believe essential to operate any business or organization, large or small, for-profit or nonprofit, public or private, are: customer focus, process focus, employee involvement, data analysis and leadership commitment. [Read more…]

Sackets finishes cleanup of Augsbury oil site, plans to market property

Workers have finished the last phase of a six-year cleanup of the former Augsbury Oil Co. site, a key step in getting the property ready for redevelopment.

Nearly 4,000 cubic yards of soil was cleaned of petroleum contamination at a 7-acre area south of Ambrose Street near Bolton’s Farm in late October, Mayor Vincent J. Battista III said. Richardson & Sons of Ogdensburg started work on the site in July.

Once the state Department of Environmental Conservation issues a final certification of completion for the entire 70-acre site, which is expected next spring, the village can start marketing the property to developers, Mr. Battista said. The total cost of the cleanup will run approximately $800,000, paid mostly by the DEC.

Among potential uses for the site are a multipurpose recreational center, health-care facility, retailer or manufacturer, Mr. Battista said. He said job creation will be a top priority as officials consider future development.

“The key thing is going to be how many jobs will it produce, because with employment comes demand for housing, more business downtown and a lower tax base for village residents,” Mr. Battista said.

Plans have already been made by officials to market the property, situated at the northwestern side of the village near Black River Bay, said Donald L. DiMonda, president of the Sackets Harbor Local Development Corp. Last spring, the LDC, which owns the site, hired CITEC Business Solutions of Potsdam for about $3,000 to develop a brochure to advertise the property. It has also agreed to hire Horizon Aerial Media Services of Glen Park to shoot aerial photos for the brochure using a drone.

Mr. DiMonda said he is optimistic that the site — close to County Road 75 and about 8 miles from Interstate 81 — will be attractive to commercial developers. Depending on its success, the LDC could later decide to broaden its marketing strategy to attract clients across the state and country, he said.

But “I’m not convinced that we can’t do this on our own, because we know people around here,” said Mr. DiMonda, adding that the site has access to municipal water and sewer service. “I think it’s an attractive piece of property with a lot of benefits for a developer to come in and look at it, and we’d like to have someone come in here locally and get it done.”

Input for potential uses of the property has already been gathered from the community. In the summer of 2008, community workshops were held by a graduate student from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Mr. DiMonda said ideas from that initiative will be used by the LDC as it decides how to market the property, which could offer a variety of uses.

“We want to incorporate some of those thought processes into what goes on there,” he said.

The Augsbury Oil property housed a petroleum bulk storage facility for much of the 20th century, until around 1988.

In 2006, the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation paid nearly $800,000 to buy 40 clean acres at the site from the LDC for the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, leaving the LDC with 70 acres to clean and redevelop. The LDC has owned the property since 2000.

COVERING THE COST

Most of the project has been state-funded. The DEC has agreed to pay 90 percent, or $360,000, of the $400,000 project to clean up the southern end of the brownfield after its completion; the remaining 10 percent, or $40,000, will be funded by the village LDC, Mr. Battista said. The total cost of the earlier north-side phase of the project — also backed by a 90 percent DEC contribution — was also about $400,000, he said.

Mr. Battista, who is also a member of the LDC board, said final soil samples tested from the site by the DEC this fall were contamination-free. The village, which paid the up-front cost of the project, will need to wait for the DEC’s final approval to be reimbursed. The LDC will provide its $40,000 contribution at that time, which the village also paid up-front.

The recent cleanup of the south side of the brownfield comes after about 2,400 tons of contaminated soil were removed from the north side in 2012, and about 1,500 tons of soil and a 1,000-gallon underground storage tank were removed in 2009. In the spring of 2013, the DEC gave the northern portion a clean bill of health.

“It’s probably been about a six-year project, because you have to wait for each section to be completed and approved with the DEC,” said Mr. Battista, who took over this year as mayor of the village.

Though both phases of the project cost roughly $400,000, the LDC tried to cut costs by having the contractor clean up contaminated soil on the south side by using an on-site method, rather than having it trucked away as was done for the north-side project, Mr. Battista said. Soil was cleaned up by workers using a rotation method in which it’s dug up to be essentially “baked in the sun,” releasing contaminants into the atmosphere, he said. Mr. Battista said the method was probably less expensive than trucking away the soil, but he could not confirm how much the village saved.

 

By Ted Booker, Times Staff Writer