Funds would target Tryon

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County supervisors recently added a proposed $150,000 project to the county’s proposed 2014 capital plan to support marketing of the new Tryon Technology and Incubator Center that officials hope to create.

The Board of Supervisors’ Capital Projects Committee voted to put the proposed spending in the $8.8 million capital plan for next year.

The plan – done in conjunction with the county budget – hasn’t been approved yet.

Fulton County Planning Director James Mraz, who is also the executive director of the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency, recently told the committee that international site selector Michael Mullis suggested marketing the 515-acre Tryon site in the towns of Perth and Johnstown. The county and IDA are attempting to secure a deed from the state for the former Tryon Detention Facility property to turn it into a technology park.

Mraz proposed the $150,000 capital project, whose funding would largely come from capital construction reserves.

He told the committee he wasn’t sure when the state will approve the deed transfer to the IDA.

“I have no concrete set [approval] date,” Mraz said. “It’s back and forth with the title companies. There’s a series of signoffs. It’s just taking time.”

Johnstown 3rd Ward Supervisor Jack Callery said he was leery of proposing a capital project before the deed is secured. He said he didn’t “want to spend money” before the deed transfer.

“I’m pretty confident we’re OK,” Mraz responded.

The proposed capital project involves the development of a marketing strategy and plan for the Tryon site.

Mraz said Mullis recommended Fulton County undertake several initiatives, including conducting a “targeted industries evaluation.”

He said Mullis suggested a comprehensive evaluation of the region to ascertain which industry clusters are best suited for the Tryon site. He also suggested a business training center in one of the Tryon buildings.

Mraz said Mullis also identified development of Tryon’s large emergency generator be put into any future project.

He said the generator could provide backup power to businesses locating at Tryon.

Michael Anich can be reached at