Ogdensburg City Manager Sarah Purdy says any plan to reopen economy in here must consider Canadians as well.
Her statement follows:
“How encouraging that our Governor is talking publicly about strategies for reopening New York State! Everyone would love to think the pandemic is ending, the shutdown is going to become a reopening, and we can all start to find out what the new normal is.
Not so fast. Look at the numbers. Here in our City, and throughout our County, the numbers tell us COVID-19 is still prevalent. We don’t get the same level of attention “downstate” gets because we don’t have the same level of population. But one look at the numbers on the very helpful map our County Health Department issues every day tells us we are still in the thick of the battle. “Hot spots” all around New York need to be taken into consideration.
Now, however, is the time to start strategizing about how to reopen because it is a complicated matter and no one wants a second COVID-19 wave. At the state level, the governors of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are taking a regional approach to reopening, so as to avoid contradicting one another and causing each other COVID-19 harm. At the federal level, discussion is taking place about which level of government has the right to undertake what.
But what about the international level? Here in Ogdensburg all we have to do is look across the river to see another country. We have friends, relatives and colleagues in Canada. Our businesses have patrons from Canada. Remember how our parking lots used to be full of vehicles with Canadian license plates? We want them back again! How does that get coordinated? It’s not something our City government can supervise.
As we watch the regional-state and the federal discussions about how to re-open, let’s look for where our Canadian friends fit into the picture. If we don’t hear any discussion about coordination between the two countries, then let’s ask our New York delegation for discussion. Canada is important to the United States. Canada is very important to the future of Ogdensburg.
Be hopeful, stay safe, stay healthy and stay together yet six feet apart. “Take 5 for New York” by calling someone and chatting for five minutes. And please see below several links to COVID-19 information that you may find useful.”