Joint effort best path

If our local area is going to bring in more jobs and people, local municipalities must work together.

We were glad to see the Johnstown Common Council show support for pursuing a joint grant with Gloversville to improve the cities’ downtown areas.

While it was just an informal vote to have Johnstown City Engineer Chandra Cotter work closer with Gloversville Department of Public Works Director Kevin Jones to secure the grant, it is a step in the right direction.

The Glove Cities could jointly apply for a $400,000 state grant that would pay for a development study for both downtowns. Officials noted the grant is 90 percent state-funded and 10 percent locally funded, including possible in-kind services.

Officials in Gloversville had talked about applying for the grant separately, concerned about not getting as much money. However, representatives from?Bergmann Associates – which has done more than 20 successful applications and plans statewide – noted if the two cities file separate grant applications, they would compete against each other for funding.

Some of the things the grant could potentially be used for include: future land use and master planning, environmental review and investigation to develop site profiles, regulatory updates or zoning analysis, feasibility studies, highest- and best-use studies, infrastructure analysis and capacity studies, and marketing and branding activities.

It’s unfortunate the money cannot be used for brick-and-mortar work and environmental cleanup. Such investment is desperately needed in both downtowns.

However, there are other grants to pursue – Johnstown already is considering a separate $200,000 state NY Main?Street Grant to help revitalize downtown.

The $400,000 joint grant could help attract private investment, which is ultimately what both cities need.We hope the two cities will continue to pursue this grant together.