Auto dealership coming to Johnstown

JOHNSTOWN — A Fonda businesswoman plans to open a new pre-owned auto dealership on Route 30A in the city.

Carol Harper,  of 2567 Route 30A, is proposing to own and operate a retail dealership — Route 30A Jumbolot 2 LLC — at 111 S. Comrie Ave.

“She’s a private dealership,” city Code Enforcement Officer Bruce Heberer, also city fire chief, said today.

He said Harper owns another car dealership in the area.  There exists a similar Montgomery County “Jumbo Lot” retail car operation at 88 E. Main St. in Nelliston.

Harper’s new Johnstown project is slated to go before the city Planning Board  at 4 p.m. Dec. 6 at City Hall.

The property’s owner is listed as Ralph Ottuso of Caroga Lake.

The dealership is expected to be open Monday through Saturday with two employees regularly in the building. There will also be a floating DMV clerk and sales manager to assist.

Heberer said the new dealership will be located across Route 30A from the existing James Chevrolet at 108 S. Comrie Ave. But he said the two dealerships are unrelated.

According to documents filed with the City Clerk’s Office, the new Johnstown dealership will have about 30 pre-owned vehicles ranging from 2005 to 2015 models. Harper is seeking a site approval and certificate of occupancy from the city.

“Perhaps in the future, contingent on the success of the location, we will revisit growth and expansion,” Harper’s narrative to the planning board indicates.

The planning board on Dec. 6 will also review a $35,000 project by Mark Hayes to construct a metal ice cream store at 24 Briggs St. The project is being done by Hayes at the vacant, former Demi’s Leather plant site.

Hayes is using engineer Charles Ackerbauer to design the new ice cream shop.

The city had owned the former Demi’s Leather Corp. plant at 24 Briggs St. since 2008, after the property was razed and cleaned up through a state brownfields program.

Heberer said during the summer that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cleaned the old half-acre Demi’s site, with no costs coming back on the city.

The Common Council on July 18 sold the vacant commercial land to Hayes for $8,000. Sealed written bids for the property were advertised in February as part of foreclosure proceedings and no bids were received by the bid opening date of March 11. But in April, the council decided to offer it for private sale and on July 18 decided to accept a private offer from Hayes.

Hayes, of 18 E. Green St., said in August he would like to open the shop in 2017. He said the shop will have plenty of private parking.

He is planning a 750-square-foot shop with service windows. He said it will be a “local community” ice cream shop.

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

By Chad Fleck

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