Reagen seeking reelection to St. Lawrence County Legislature 

News release

OGDENSBURG, NY  – St. Lawrence County Legislator James E. Reagen (R-Ogdensburg) has announced he will seek reelection to his seat representing District 1 from Ogdensburg.

“Over the past several years I have worked hard with local, county, state and federal officials to improve the lives of the people of Ogdensburg,” said Reagen. “Over the next eight months, I intend to work hard to earn the right to continue representing the people of our community.”

Reagen, a long-time aide to State Senator Patty Ritchie and retired newspaper editor, operates the award winning historic Sherman Inn with his wife, Donna.

He pointed to his accomplishments over the past several years.

  • 1. “In March, Ogdensburg was scheduled to go over a fiscal cliff with no deal in place to share the one percent sales tax with the county. Legislators David Forsyth  (R-Lisbon), Rita Curran (R-Louisville) and I helped pass a compromise agreement that prevented the city from losing an estimated $800,000 to $1.5 million.

  • 2. Helped hold the line on county property taxes for three years and stabilized county finances

  • 3. Saved Ogdenburg’s historic Sherman Inn, a major city landmark, formerly the Sherman Elementary School where Reagen went to kindergarten. He and his wife succeeded at saving the only lodging business near downtown, despite the international pandemic which devastated many hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts. Their efforts at breathing new life into the former elementary school helped put it on the map as a place for tourists and visitors to stay, earning a 5 star rating.

  • 4. Reagen’s marketing efforts have succeeded at making the Sherman Inn into a North Country tourism destination that was recognized last year with a Traveler’s Choice Award after the lodging business  ranked among the top 10 percent of small inns and hotels in North America based on the reviews written by its guests.

  • 5. Helped save the historic 70,000 square foot Newell industrial building on Paterson Street as a member of the board of directors of the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency, transforming it from a dangerous abandoned eyesore overlooking Ogdensburg’s waterfront into a major industrial asset to help attract new business, new industry and new jobs to the city. Worked with the IDA board of directors to obtain and spend over $1.5 million to replace the roof and make other major repairs to the building.

  • 6. Helped the Fort La Presentation Association obtain the funds the volunteer group desperately needed to access a $1.2 million grant to repair shoreline erosion and upgrade its trail system as a major upstate historical attraction for Ogdensburg. Thanks to Reagen’s leadership in making funds available from the county legislature, the shoreline project was started and completed in 2021, one of the few Regional Economic Development Initiative shoreline projects completed so early.

  • 7. Worked as a member of the Charles W. Kelly Memorial Park Committee to raise $50,000 in funds and develop Kelly Memorial Park (formerly Hamilton Park).  Personally donated $1,000 to the project. Wrote and helped design the four narrative interpretive panels describing Kelly’s life and impact on our community

  • 8. Restored funding to St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency which has allowed the county to expand its economic development efforts aimed at recruiting new businesses and jobs across St. Lawrence County, such as North American Forestry’s sawmill operation at the former ACCO plant west of the city. The company hopes to expand operations this year to increase its workforce to 20.

  • 9. Fought to expand the county’s addiction treatment services, including the new methadone clinic in Canton scheduled to open later this year.

  • 10. Supported efforts to decentralize county services by bringing 20 county social services jobs downtown and eight highway jobs to the new Arnold Road Outpost