Town needs voice on annexation plan

While there are some good points in the potential revenue-sharing “deal” that was recently presented by some Montgomery County legislators, the major sticking point is a requirement that the town of Mohawk give up its right to make a decision on the annexation.

The town of Mohawk cannot agree to give up its seat at the table, and let Fulton County dictate the future of the town. The town’s Comprehensive Plan, which was finished less than a year ago, expresses the residents’ collective concerns about maintaining and protecting the town’s agricultural lands. The approximately 160 acres of active agricultural lands that are the subject of the proposed annexation would be converted to industrial uses in direct conflict with the Comprehensive Plan, and the town’s zoning. If Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort is correct that the “hope” is for all four municipalities to come together to achieve something positive for all involved, then the town should not be forced into accepting the proposed annexation before all of the negative impacts have been addressed.

The town is seeking lead agency status in the environmental review of the proposal because the town, as the local governing body, is in the best position to review the negative impacts to its residents and the local environment.

Instead of supporting the town as lead agency, the “deal” would have required the town to step aside and let Montgomery County conduct the environmental review.

However, Montgomery County leaders would not agree to preparing a full environmental impact statement for the proposed annexation, so the “deal” was not giving the town a firm commitment that a complete and thorough review would be conducted.

Moreover, regardless of the Montgomery County leaders’ intentions, an agreement has to be forged with the city of Johnstown, but the Johnstown Common Council voted previously that it would not negotiate with the town of Mohawk.

It turns out Johnstown’s mayor was not consulted during the recent negotiations regarding the potential “deal.”

Therefore, the benefits to the town of the potential “deal,” and of the proposed annexation, are as tenuous as they have ever been.


Supervisor, Town of


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