Business park sharing plan back on board to revisit

JOHNSTOWN — The city plans to contact the town of Mohawk in coming weeks to revisit negotiations surrounding the proposed regional business park’s revenue sharing plan.

An official said that’s fine with the town, which has made its final offer to the city.

Both municipalities have negotiated for several years concerning a business park revenue sharing plan it hopes is palatable for both.

Fulton and Montgomery counties have been interested in creating a regional park both can share. The proposed business park involves annexation of more than 260 acres of land now in the town of Mohawk into the city of Johnstown. The park, which would get water and sewer service from Johnstown, would be built near the Johnstown Industrial Park off Route 30A, on the border of Fulton and Montgomery counties.

Both Johnstown Mayor Vern Jackson and Mohawk Supervisor Ed Bishop said Tuesday they welcome the next steps in the process.

Jackson noted he has been preoccupied with other city business to start the year, including a proposed water agreement with Fulton County.

“I just signed a Smart Waters agreement,” Jackson said.

The Common Council on Jan. 16 approved a memorandum of agreement with Fulton County to provide city water services for county Water District No. 1 on Route 67. The city Water Board has taken similar action, and the county Board of Supervisors votes Feb. 12 on the MOA. The project involves agreeing to provide Johnstown water so the county can prepare cost estimates to extend a waterline to the county’s waterline on Route 67. Fulton County desires to increase the number of customers using water from its Route 67 waterline. The county wants to also decrease costs of water to existing waterline customers.

Jackson said he has also been working on some “offers” involving city properties.

“At this point, I want to get these things out of the way and then I’m going to call Supervisor Bishop and we’ll talk,’ the mayor said.

Bishop said the ball is in Johnstown’s court. He said he welcomes a response to what his town considers it’s last offer, which was sent last July.

“We sent him what we consider our final offer,” the Mohawk official said.

Bishop said Jackson on Sept. 15 came back with a counter offer that was not acceptable to the town.

“Since then, there’s been nothing done,” Bishop said.

Mohawk’s last proposal to the city is a 40-year deal, renewable for another 40 years, that provides 55 percent revenue to Johnstown and 45 percent revenue to Mohawk. It also calls for no truck traffic on Old Trail Road. It is similar to a proposed Fulton County-Montgomery County deal, other than the percentages being a 50-50 percent split.

Work also continues on the annexation front of the park project.

The Fulton County Board of Supervisors in March 2017 authorized a $100,000 contract with Sterling Environmental Engineering of Latham to prepare a draft/final Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, on the annexation of land needed for the proposed business park. Annexation petitions were filed by property owners in the town of Mohawk proposing their properties be annexed into the city of Johnstown. Property owners who have applied for annexation are: Milltown Plaza Inc., Steve Miller, Jerrold Miller and James Miller.

State municipal annexation law requires SEQR work be completed before action is taken on annexation petitions. Contributing to payments for Sterling’s work were one-third shares of $33,334 from Fulton County, Montgomery County and the city of Johnstown.

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

By Patricia Older

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