Johnstown agrees to seek funding with Gloversville

JOHNSTOWN – The Johnstown Common Council on Monday moved forward with an effort to seek a grant with Gloversville to study redevelopment of old industrial sites.

The council authorized a contract with Bergmann Associates, which would help the two cities apply for a $400,000 state grant.

Mayor Sarah Slingerland said the Gloversville Common Council may approve the Bergmann contract next week.

Johnstown City Engineer Chandra Cotter and Gloversville Department of Public Works Director Kevin Jones have been collaborating on the effort.

“It looks like this will be a good thing for the city to do,” Slingerland said.

Both cities’ councils previously took straw polls and agreed to pursue the $400,000 planning grant.

The resolution approved by the Johnstown Common Council says the two cities want to “complete revitalization plans and implementation strategies for areas affected by the presence of brownfield sites, and site assessments for strategic brownfield sites.”

The resolution says both cities want to submit an application for Brownfield Opportunity Area Program Step 2 funding.

Rochester-based Bergmann Associates would help the cities submit the application.

The company would be paid an $8,800 fee, split between the two cities.

The $400,000 grant would pay for a development study for both downtowns.

The Brownfield Opportunity Area Program provides money to help develop areas that may be difficult to work with because of environmental hazards.

Some of the things the grant could be used for include: future land use and master planning, environmental review and investigation to develop site profiles, regulatory updates or zoning analysis, feasibility studies, highest- and best-use studies, infrastructure analysis and capacity studies, and marketing and branding activities.

The grant wouldn’t pay for bricks-and-mortar work, environmental cleanup and remediation, purchase of environmental insurance, land acquisition, and direct subsidies to private entities.

Slingerland said the action taken by her council Monday night is separate from a $200,000 state NY Main Street Grant that Johnstown is pursuing to revitalize downtown.

Officials said that grant would help pay for downtown streetscape and building improvements.

The grant would pay 75 percent of streetscape improvements up to $15,000 per project, with the city matching 25 percent toward improvements.

The grant also would pay 75 percent of building renovations, with building owners matching 25 percent toward improvements.

Cotter told the council she wasn’t sure when the brownfield application, which would go to the state Department of State, actually would be due, but she said it may be required by November.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected].

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