Gloversville OKs funds for new job intended to boost business downtown

GLOVERSVILLE – The Common Council recently approved a resolution that would create a position to help bring businesses downtown.

The council unanimously approved the resolution, which would have the city pay $25,000 for the first year of the downtown development specialist position. The city would share funding for the new job with the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth.

King said the downtown development specialist’s job will focus on working with existing businesses to help them grow and apply for grants, along with attracting new businesses to the area.

“[The employee] will also work with the Gloversville Business Improvement District and city government to make our business community better,” King said.

King said that in addition to the city’s funding, there are three private individuals, who he declined to name, who have committed $10,000 each for three years for the position. The CRG and city’s BID will also contribute funding.

The new CRG employee would make up to around $80,000 a year, King said.

The specialist will be stationed out of the CRG offices and will report to CRG President Ron Peters.

The entities are looking to fill the position with someone who has good communication skills and has experience in recruiting businesses, King said.

“I think this will be good for our city,” he said.

“Depending on how successful that person is, we would like to continue that,” he said. “If [he or she] is successful in bringing in businesses and obtaining grants for downtown, the position could pay for itself in a short time.”

The city could also use funding from a $10 million grant they have applied for to pay for the position in the future.

In May, the city submitted its application for the Downtown Revitalization Project. The plan will see $10 million given to 10 communities for downtown improvements.

Under the program, one city from the six-county regional economic development council – which includes Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and Schoharie counties – will be selected. Nine other cities from other regional councils in the state also will be selected.

The city’s plans include streetscape improvements on South Main and Harrison streets, lawn improvements at Estee Commons near the bronze sculptures, a new bike path connecting Trail Station Park and downtown, a skate park at the corner of Bleecker and Church streets and a redesign of Castiglione Park.

Included in the $10 million is upwards of $300,000 in funding that is going to be set aside for the hiring of experts to help with the projects.

According to the Governor’s Office, planning experts are being selected by the state. Experts will then be matched with a downtown project “based on their experience, qualifications and expertise.”

King said he has spoken with state leaders about the city’s needs for the funding, stating the money could transform a city like Gloversville.

“That $10 million would go a long way in Gloversville,” King said. “For other communities that have seen some development, that wouldn’t really mean that much, but for us it would be a good thing.”

The regional council is expected to announce its recipient June 30.

The specialist will be stationed out of the CRG offices and will report to CRG President Ron Peters.

King said the city is looking for someone with good communication skills and who has experience in recruiting businesses, and are open to looking at a variety of candidates.

“I think this will be good for our city,” he said.

Kerry Minor covers Gloversville. She can be reached at [email protected]

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