BY JIMMY LAWTON North Country This Week OGDENSBURG -- Despite signals that the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority would like to provide its own security at the airport, city police will provide the …
BY JIMMY LAWTON
North Country This Week
OGDENSBURG -- Despite signals that the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority would like to provide its own security at the airport, city police will provide the service in 2024.
The OBPA owns and operates the Ogdensburg International Airport and is required by law to use police officers to provide security for outgoing flights.
The service comes at a high cost, according to OBPA officials, who hope to see legislation passed that would have saved them as much as $100,000 annually.
Earlier this year bills sponsored by Assemblyman Scott Gray and Mark Walczyk would have changed state law to allow OBPA to provide security at the airport without using police officers.
The bill would allow the OBPA to hire their own peace officers for airport security.
The OBPA currently contracts with the Ogdensburg City Police Department for the service. But it comes at a very high cost as the OBPA pays the full cost of two police officers.
Although the previous contract was for $185,000, overtime expenses put the bill closer to $260,000.
Officials at the OBPA have expressed concerns about the cost, but the bills pushed by local state representatives failed to make it to the Senate floor in 2023.
On Monday the city agreed to a new contract that will have the OBPA pay the city $240,000 to cover the full cost of two full-time police positions.
Most of the city council seemed to welcome the news, but Councilor John Rishe suggested that perhaps the OBPA should consider contracting the service with St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Department.
Rishe's suggestion was likely considered by the authority as the agreement explains that both state police and St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Department both declined similar offers.
Additionally the contract assures that the city will receive the full agreed amount even if OBPA chooses to end the contract.
The resolution passed in a 4-0 vote with councilor Michael Powers and Mayor Jeffrey Skelly absent from the meeting.