Council to hear plans

JOHNSTOWN – Presentations on recent Fulton County plans for the possible consolidation of water and sewer services and downtown revitalization will be given to the Common Council on Monday.

County Planning Director James Mraz is due to speak at the council session at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Also invited to the meeting were several county supervisors and city Water Board President Nicholas Cannizzo Sr.

In recent weeks, Mraz has spoken publicly about a county plan to seek engineering proposals to develop a model for what could eventually lead to the consolidation of all water and sewer services in the county. County officials say the so-called “SMART Waters” system they are exploring may be more efficient and allow easier extension of services outside the Glove Cities.

Mraz has already given a presentation on SMART to the Gloversville Common Council, which has taken no action.

Also Monday, Mraz is slated to present information about the county’s proposed downtown revitalization plan for the cities. Mraz recently told county supervisors he will present more information in coming weeks about a possible plan to improve the city’s downtown area.

He said the state operates a Brownfield Opportunity Area grant program, in which the county could apply to obtain grant funds to hire professional consultants to prepare downtown revitalization plans. He said the local share would be 10 percent, but it could be offset through in-kind services provided by his department.

Mayor Sarah Slingerland said Friday she believes no Johnstown city officials have made up their minds yet on either county initiative.

“I think we’re trying to keep an open mind and see what [Mraz] has to say,” she said. “I don’t know very much about the SMART model.”