GLOVERSVILLE - Mayor Dayton King told Common Council members Tuesday he has spoken with two companies near Dallas, Texas, that are interested in moving their offices to the city.
The two companies want to expand to the Northeast, he said.
One business is looking for 2,500 square feet of office space, while the second business is looking for 25,000 square feet of warehouse space.
One of the companies is an online magazine and the other is a distribution center, King said. He said both companies combined would create about 30 jobs.
King said the city has the facilities for the companies, but they would need loans.
He said once the city gets its loan- pool money from the Center for Regional Growth, the city could move forward with providing business loans.
King was referring to a $2.4 million loan pool held by the Fulton County Economic Development Corp., currently a subsidiary of the CRG. A total of $1.5 million of the amount are in the form of 14 separate loans that have been handed out. A total of $940,000 is in cash.
The city filed a lawsuit against the EDC to recover the money in late October.
"It would be fantastic to have 30 new jobs here," he said. "It's too bad the unfortunate situation we're in. Some board members on the CRG, EDC, CIC [Center for Regional Growth, Economic Development Corp. and Crossroads Incubator Corp.] want to hold on to that money, but it does belong to the city of Gloversville. Hopefully, we can push this process through. You have 30 people who are unemployed in the city of Gloversville that could find jobs if these companies go through, and I hope that happens sooner than later."
King provided no further information about the Dallas companies.
Common Council members also voted to schedule a public hearing Nov. 27 regarding the Residential-Commercial Urban Exemption Program, which would allow the owner of an existing commercial building to build apartments upstairs and receive tax exemptions.
The 12-year exemption would aim to entice owners to create residential living space in downtown and commercial areas.
In the first eight years, the buildings would be exempt from 100 percent of the taxes. In the final four years, the tax-exemption rate would decrease by 20 percent each year. In year nine, the tax exemption would be at 80 percent, in year 10, 60 percent, in year 11, 40 percent, and in year 12, 20 percent.
The cost of converting space into apartments would have to exceed $10,000.
The council members are considering enacting this exemption to encourage business owners in mixed-use properties to fix upstairs apartments.
King said if people live downtown, they most likely will spend more money downtown and increase sales tax revenue.
The council voted 5-1 in favor of scheduling the hearing.
Councilwoman Robin Wentworth voted against the measure because she said the council members haven't seen the proposal yet.
"We haven't seen the local law. It hasn't been drafted yet," she said. "[We shouldn't be] making a decision on something that hasn't even been drafted yet. To set up a public hearing on something we don't even have yet, the council should look at it before they set a public hearing. ...
"I don't think it's in the city's best interest to vote on something without seeing it first. I don't see what's detrimental about waiting another two weeks," she said.
King assured Wentworth the council members would get the proposed law by next Monday. He said he didn't see a need to hold up the hearing.
King said the city council has to work better with existing and potential businesses.
"We don't want to make local laws just to appease one person per se, but I can tell you that we have to be a heck of a lot more business-friendly," he said after the meeting. "That's been my attitude and belief from the get-go ... If we need to change a residential area to allow more business that's going to create more jobs and lower our tax burden, [we have to] be open to that.
"To say why can't we push it out for a couple more weeks - why? Read your e-mails, ask questions. We need to move a little bit faster. Business moves fast ... The longer we wait, they're going to get tired of it," King said.