Proposed expansion could bring 50 jobs

Walter Kubow, an engineer with The Chazen Companies, explains details of Benjamin Moore’s planned expansion project to the Johnstown City Planning Board Tuesday at City Hall. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — The proposed Benjamin Moore & Co. paint company expansion on Union Avenue is expected to create 50 new jobs, the Johnstown City Planning Board heard Tuesday afternoon at City Hall.

Benjamin Moore & Co. — a manufacturer of fine paints — is planning a 117,000-square-foot expansion.

Walter Kubow, an engineer with The Chazen Companies, gave the figure in formally presenting the project to the board. The project adds an additional 17,000 square feet of new primary production area.

Kubow said the project may involve moving 130,000 cubic yards of dirt from one side of the Fulton County Rail Trail to the other. He said that once the project is complete, Benjamin Moore will have 50 truck trips a day from 2 p.m. to midnight in an out of the expanded area.

He said the paint company will need an additional 30,000 gallons of water per day.

“We don’t anticipate any massive rock removal,” Kubow said.

City Fire Chief Bruce Heberer, city code enforcement officer, said Benjamin Moore owns its own property, and a review by the Fulton County Planning Board is not required.

“I only impact I can see is increased truck traffic,” said board Chairman Peter K. Smith.

But City Engineer Christopher Vose, a board member, said he was not concerned and that Union Avenue could handle the truck traffic.

The board named itself lead agency for the state Environmental Quality Review for the project. The board also set a public hearing for 4 p.m. Nov. 3, after which the company’s application may receive final approval.

The firm has hinted at expansion the last few years, but is finally formally moving forward. The 14-month expansion project is expected to increase the company’s lot from 134 spaces to 225 spaces, an increase of 91 spaces. Design work for the expansion is being done by The Chazen Companies.

According to the company’s Environmental Assessment Form, a 117,000-square-foot expansion is planned at the existing 155 Union Ave. manufacturing facility, along with associated site improvements. Those improvements include an expanded parking lot and supporting utility and access infrastructure.

Additional building expansions planned include: A 7,800-square-foot can handling area on the eastern end of the existing building; a 6,800-square-foot loading/unloading area with a canopy for bulk deliveries on the northwest corner of the existing building; and another 13,725-square foot office space.

The project will result in the bulk storage of: Slurries, latex resins, defoamers, surfactants, and wash water.

The history of the company goes back to 1883 when Moore Brothers was founded in Brooklyn.

Benjamin Moore & Co.’s application package with the city notes a letter dated Sept. 29 from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The letter says that in the state’s opinion, no properties will be impacted environmentally by the expansion project.

Smith stated the letter indicates: “There are no sensitive archeological sites at the premises.”

By Patricia Older