Smart Waters work to pour into 2 areas

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County officials are eyeing Smart Waters initiative development in two distinct areas of the county – Hales Mills Road Extension near Gloversville’s Walmart Supercenter, and the Vail Mills hamlet area of the town of Mayfield.

“They are the next two priority areas we’re going to concentrate on,” county Administrative Officer Jon Stead said Thursday.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Charles Potter also said Thursday the Smart Waters initiative should finally go from paperwork to action as the year progresses.

The hope through the initiative is to develop more water and sewer infrastructure in key areas of the county to bring in more development and jobs.

“It’s a huge potential development,” Potter said of the Vail Mills hamlet.

He predicted the roundabout corridor area – either going up Route 29 or Route 30 – will see an increase in demand for business.

Stead said the county will be concentrating or two or three items the next couple months, including reviewing the initiative’s Smart Growth Infrastructure Plan. Engineer Travis Mitchell of Environmental Design Partnership has been doing the work.

The county has worked with that Clifton Park firm to seek water and sewer sources outside the Glove Cities to energize economic development. As part of that, Fulton County reached a 40-year agreement on Dec. 14 with Gloversville officials to supply the county with up to 2 million gallons of water per day. The agreement provides water for the Fulton County Water and Sewer Agency to use anywhere in the county. The plan also provides revenue to the city.

Stead said preliminary results of the Smart Growth Infrastructure Plan will probably be reviewed by the board’s Economic Development-Environment Committee at its next meeting. The session starts at 1 p.m. March 2 at the County Office Building.

“That’s going to be an overall review,” he said.

Stead said the county will be nailing down “shortcomings and problems” with current water systems, as it moves ahead in the next month or so.

Out of Mitchell’s report, he said the county will be looking at the Hales Mills Road development area and the Vail Mills area of Route 30 and 29. More marketing is expected by year’s end. Stead said the Smart Waters plan also calls for designing a Vail Mills wastewater collection and treatment system.

When Potter took over as county board chairman Jan. 4, his first address to fellow supervisors included a call for promotion of the county’s towns in 2016.

Potter said Thursday he was referring to a “compass point strategy.” His examples included the towns of Caroga and Northampton, but he said other parts of the county can also be marketed as part of Smart Waters.

“The town of Mayfield could be a destination,” Potter said.

The board chairman said many of the plans and reports regarding Smart Waters were approved in 2015, but will be placed into full action this year.

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

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