Annexation deal needed

The town of Johnstown and Glove Cities must remember the area needs development. Rather than stymie projects that involve annexation or the extension of water and sewer services into the town, the three municipalities should have an agreement in place for compensating the municipalities involved while addressing the concerns of those near the projects.

This issue came up again last week. A local landowner asked the town to reconsider its denial of an annexation he said is needed for his project. Jovan Boljanac, who wants to build 11 single-family homes at the end of Pine Avenue, is asking the town to allow the annexation process to go through, giving him access to city of Johnstown resources. The Johnstown Common Council approved the annexation, but the town rejected it last fall.

Residents had expressed their concerns about the project to the Town Board. They included worries about the traffic the project would cause and potential drainage problems caused by putting the houses on the site.

Boljanac’s attorney said the city could move the case to the Appellate Court.

Local development should not hinge on the outcome of lawsuits. That is a waste of money and unproductive use of time.

The city of Johnstown, the town of Johnstown and Gloversville should have an agreement that says how annexation or extension of services would be handled when they are requested by a property owner. The three municipalities should decide how to address issues that may come up – such as environmental concerns – and what they consider fair for all involved.

Representatives from the town of Johnstown and the Glove Cities should meet at least monthly until they reach an agreement. This would not be a quick process. The town has every right to be concerned about losing its land, but the cities cannot extend water and sewer into the town without worrying about losing sales- and property-tax revenue.

There is no easy answer to what will allow development in the area without putting one of the three municipalities at a disadvantage. That is why work on a plan should begin soon and not be pushed to the back burner.

We don’t want to see the Glove Cities or town of Johnstown wind up poorer. If projects involving annexation or extension of city services are handled only on a case-by-case basis, potential development may go elsewhere.

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