County expands on Vision progress

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County is taking progress achieved from its Vision 2026 Summit last fall and using it for a future, more comprehensive 10-year report being compiled by a Rensselaer County firm.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said Tuesday that work achieved during the all-day Oct. 25 summit at the Holiday Inn is not being ignored.

He said it layed foundation to guide the county’s future, and is only part of a long-term report being compiled by River Street Planning and Development of Troy.

“This is just one step in the process,” Stead said. “It will be a 10-year economic development strategy.”

Stead couldn’t provide a competition date for the River Street report. He said the firm will also be working with the cities of Gloversville and Johnstown, and the county’s villages, on ways to improve downtown areas of Fulton County.

“I believe that hasn’t happened yet,” Stead said.

About 90 community leaders, elected officials, business leaders and members of the general public attended the Vision 2026 Summit Oct. 25 in order to participate in the development of Fulton County’s “vision statement,” according to a county news release issued recently. In addition, the event allowed attendees to offer their opinions on numerous ideas, projects and initiatives to include in the county’s economic development strategy, the release said.

Among goals listed for Fulton County coming out of the summit were: marketing, vibrant downtowns, diversify county’s housing stock, vibrant neighborhoods and town/village centers, improve the current architectural environment, strategic opportunities, stable tax base, municipal infrastructure, economic growth, incubator space, listing of potential projects, promote local food and agriculture, create new outdoor recreation opportunities and expand current recreation, and capitalize on four-season recreation.

Stead said information is now being deceminated by River Street Planning and Development for the larger, more comprehensive “glossy” 20 to 30-page report. He said the report will be used as a tool for media, but more importantly as a way to chart the county’s future.

The county says several “common” themes emerged from the summit that will serve as valuable resources in prioritizing the county’s goals and initiatives moving forward. They include the need to market Fulton County, create vibrant downtowns in the cities and in town/village centers, diversify the county’s housing stock, and promote growth and development in targeted areas.

“We were pleased with the results of the Vision 2026 Summit and the interest exhibited by the participants,” Stead said.

He said the input received will “help us build a better roadmap for the future direction of our region.”

Johnstown 2nd Ward Supervisor Mike Kinowski, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, said the summit was a springboard for future ideas.

“Anytime you can get members of the public involved in an effort like this, it is a good thing,” he stated in the release. “People attending the summit were very active in throwing their own ideas into the mix and that helped to make it a success.”

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

By Chad Fleck

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