Cities cooperating on grant: Official
GLOVERSVILLE – The Common Council took no action Tuesday on a possible downtown revitalization grant application.
However, a city department head stressed the Glove Cities are cooperating on the grant opportunity.
Department of Public Works Director Kevin Jones told the council at City Hall he has “reached out” to Johnstown City Engineer Chandra Cotter about a possible joint effort on the grant application. He said Cotter indicated Johnstown Mayor Sarah Slingerland supports such cooperation.
Fulton County Planning Director James Mraz in recent weeks has addressed area officials about a county opportunity to seek state funding to hire professional consultants to prepare downtown revitalization plans for the cities of Gloversville and Johnstown. He said the Brownfield Opportunity Area grant program provides up to 90 percent funding and the other 10 percent of the local share can be cash or in-kind services provided by his department. He also said municipalities that strike out on their own seeking the grants may be competing with each other for funding.
Neither city has made a decision, but the Gloversville Common Council on Tuesday at City Hall heard an update on the grant process from Jones.
Jones said he conferred with a state Department of State official and Bergmann Associates of Albany, which has done more than 50 of the plans statewide.
He disputed Mraz’s contention municipalities may be competing against each other by applying separately for the grant funding.
“That’s not necessarily the case,” Jones said.
Jones said both Bergmann and the Department of State will meet with city officials, and there is a possibility the two cities can apply jointly or separately.
Jones said funding may be between $240,000 and $400,000.
One “con” of applying jointly is less money might come to Gloversville, Jones said.
“There’s a financial reason for us applying separately,” he said.
Even though the grant would be a planning grant for downtown, Jones said it also is a Brownfields grant, which could be utilized to look at cleaning up old tannery sites such as Pan-American, Independent Leather or Risedorph’s.
“The Department of State says that’s a legitimate approach,” Jones said.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.