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County to seek attorneys for project

Proposals due back by Oct. 20 for business park

September 18, 2010
By MICHAEL ANICH, The Leader-Herald

JOHNSTOWN - The Fulton County Board of Supervisors Monday authorized the seeking of proposals for the legal services needed to launch a regional business park project both Fulton and Montgomery counties want to build off Route 30A.

The 280-acre park - which would be located in the city of Johnstown and town of Mohawk - could feature a future revenue-sharing plan between both counties. The park would be located south of and adjacent to the Johnstown Industrial Park.

Monday's resolution approved at the County Office Building directs the distribution of requests for proposals for legal services.

"The idea is to get proposals back from firms who have worked on this kind of work," board Chairman Greg Fagan said.

The proposals are required to be returned to Fulton County Purchasing Agent Jon Stead by Oct. 20. The chosen legal firm will research "issues related to potential property annexation and tax revenue sharing," the resolution stated. The Fulton County resolution is contingent upon similar approval by the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, which is scheduled to meet Sept. 28.

Voting against sending out the RFPs were: Gloversville 2nd Ward Supervisor Frank Lauria Jr., Gloversville 6th Ward Supervisor Richard Ottalagano, Johnstown Town Supervisor Roy Palmateer and Caroga Supervisor James Selmser.

Lauria said there's plenty of land with water and sewer capability near the Tryon Residential Center in Perth for which a new business park could be built in Fulton County, without involving Montgomery County.

Ottalagano also asked why it's "important" to have a large tract of land when the days of big companies siting their big plants at parks are "gone." He added there are potential sites within the Glove Cities not being used.

"This is one of the few good tracts of land of useable size," Stead said of the Route 30A site.

Both Fulton County and Montgomery County have capital plans for 2011 to share the $300,000 cost of preparing design and engineering work on the site, including legal services, topographic mapping, a traffic study and more.

Gloversville 1st Ward Supervisor Marie Born asked whether Monday's approval means Fulton County is "giving permission" to go ahead with the $300,000 worth of work.

Stead said Monday's action only was to solicit legal proposals. He said both counties need to get a handle on how tax revenues will be shared among several municipalities.

Bleecker Supervisor David Howard expressed concern Fulton County at this point doesn't even have a memorandum of understanding with Montgomery County.

"I think maybe we're putting the cart before the horse here," he said. "It's a Catch-22."

Northampton Supervisor Linda Kemper, chairwoman of the Economic Development Committee, said Monday's action isn't necessarily significant.

"This does not mean this is going forward," Kemper said.

She said an agreement has to be reached between the city of Johnstown and town of Mohawk or the project could be "dead."

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at



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