Support Grows for Ritchie Plan to Renew Abandoned Psych Center Lands

Patty Ritchie

February 25, 2014

Local, State Leaders Getting on Board to Return Unused Parcels to Help Create Jobs

State Senator Patty Ritchie announced growing support for her proposal to return 160 acres of unused land at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center back to the community to be used for economic development and to create jobs.

The Senator’s bill, S.6661, was formally introduced in the Legislature today. All three Senators representing St. Lawrence County, including Senator Ritchie, Senator Joe Griffo and Senator Betty Little have signed on as cosponsors.

On Monday night, Senator Ritchie’s plan, which was developed collaboratively with Ogdensburg Mayor Bill Nelson, as well as Ogdensburg’s City manager and City Planner, was officially endorsed by a unanimous City Council.

Members of the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators also unanimously voiced their support during a meeting of that body’s Finance Committee Monday.

An official Resolution in support of the plan was introduced by Legislature Chair Jonathan Putney, and Legislators Mark Akins, Sam Burns and Joseph Lightfoot.

Last Thursday, the proposal was endorsed by the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center Task Force. 

“From developing recreational space to land for industry, the vacant property surrounding the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center truly has the potential to grow and transform our region by helping to create jobs and boost the economy,” said Senator Ritchie.

“I am thrilled to have the support of the local community in pushing this plan forward.”

Senator Ritchie’s plan proposes transferring control over 160 acres of unused Psych Center campus land to the local community to be used for economic development, including riverfront housing, commercial and industrial development.