Buyer interested in Karg land

JOHNSTOWN — A private individual has approached the city about obtaining part of the city-owned 5.3-acre former Karg Bros. tannery property off North Perry Street, Mayor Vern Jackson said Monday.

The mayor said the “local” person doesn’t represent a business and he declined to provide more details.

“It’s not a company,” Jackson said.

The city owns the property and was given the go-ahead in spring 2016, after years of cleanup, to market the selling of the property. The tannery used to be located at 126-222 N. Perry St. The property encompassed an area east of Crescendoe Road, East Canal Street and East Fulton Street. The Cayadutta Creek lies to the east, southeast and south of the property.

The Karg’s tannery once employed hundreds of people. The Feuer Leather Group shut down the tannery in 1995 and left the area. The city took over the property and tore it down in 1999.

Jackson said he and the Common Council are always trying to market the property, and are waiting to see how the latest offer turns out. He said the property actually has limited uses after an extensive cleanup over the years.

“Really, we kind of talk about it,” the mayor said. “But we’re not sure what we’re going to do about it.”

Jackson said the former Karg Bros. property is available if people contact the city.

“It’s a good piece of land,” he said.

Jackson said that even the totality of the property is about 5.3 acres, it can be divided up for use.

About a year ago, the state Department of Environmental Conservation approved an environmental easement for the Karg Bros. property.

DEC lists the highest allowable use as “restricted residential.”

An extensive remediation probe was done by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2001. The city — with the help of Arcadis-US — worked with the EPA from 2009-14. Monitoring wells were installed, soil borings were done and various samples were taken. Groundwater contaminants were cleaned up and a cover system placed on the site. Thousands of tons of clean fill covered the site, followed by hydroseeding. A parking lot was repaved.

Eventually, the gained a clean bill of health to market the property.

By Patricia Older

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