Public hearing set for grant

Johnstown 2nd Ward Councilwoman Kathi Iannotti on Monday at City Hall reads a resolution setting a public hearing on a grant the city previously received for Johnstown Renewables. The firm has shut down construction and is being sued by Fage USA. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — The Common Council on Monday set a public hearing for 6 p.m. Sept. 18 at City Hall to discuss a Community Development Block Grant previously awarded to the city.

The hearing is to discuss the city’s “community development needs” in conjunction with a grant received for Johnstown Renewables, which halted its project.

Mayor Vern Jackson said the city is simply required to conduct two public hearings for the grant. He also said the Johnstown Renewables project may not actually be shut down at this point.

Common Council members in August 2016 granted a permanent pipeline easement agreement to assist Johnstown Renewables. The city previously received a $405,000 federal Small Cities Community Development Block Grant to assist the Johnstown Industrial Park company. The firm earlier this year halted construction on its acid whey processing plant for reasons not made public.

Johnstown Renewables was expected to create reusable ethanol alcohol and animal feed from the Fage USA yogurt plant’s whey at the industrial park. The $12 million to $17 million project was expected to create 30 jobs to start.

Fage USA on Aug. 3 filed a $20 million to $50 million breach of contract lawsuit against Johnstown Renewables.

Earlier this summer, Johnstown Renewables shut down construction at its 224 Enterprise Road construction site and there has been no activity since at the site.

In other business Monday:

∫The council amended or rescinded previous resolutions related to properties on: Elmwood Avenue, West State Street and East Clinton Street.

A council resolution adopted June 19 accepted a bid of Pat Oare for city-owned property at 4 Elmwood Ave. Monday’s resolution indicated Oare “unintentionally neglected” to indicate in his bid documents that the property be awarded to his business name of Crystal Pralo, LLC. The new resolution corrected that documentation.

A resolution adopted June 19 accepted Wayne Akey’s bid for city-owned property at 321 W. State St. But Monday’s resolution says Akey failed to pay the full bid price within the time specified. The city is now considering offering the property for private sale in the future.

The council also adopted a resolution on June 19 to accept Akey’s bid for city-owned property at 120 E. Clinton St. Akey failed to pay the full bid price within the time specified. The council Monday accepted a $2,500 bid from Helmut Philipp, 130 Pleasant LLC, for property at 120 E. Clinton St.

∫The city accepted an offer of Peter J. Rigos and Patrick A. Smith in the amount of $1 for 9 Yost St.

∫Council members voted to seek bids until 10 a.m. Sept. 6 for city-acquired properties at 319 W. State St., 1 McMartin St., and 203 1/2 Meadow St.

∫Jason Subik of 26 N. Perry St. was appointed commissioner of deeds, with a term expiring Jan. 14, 2019.

First Ward Councilman Bradley Hayner asked if there was a “conflict of interest” because Subik is the son of Robert Subik, who is employed by city government as an attorney. He was told there wasn’t.

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

By Patricia Older

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