State set to transfer Tryon deed

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County Industrial Development Agency officials announced Tuesday the state will transfer its deed for the former Tryon Detention Center to the agency by week’s end.

The announcement was made at the IDA board’s annual meeting.

The IDA is working with Fulton County government to secure the 515-acre County Highway 107 site to redevelop it into a proposed Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center. IDA officials say that name may change, pending on the outcome of a regional branding initiative.

The Tryon site mostly lies in Perth, but a portion is in the town of Johnstown.

IDA attorney Kara Lais said she has been working with state Office of General Services attorney Thomas Pohl on the transfer. The state first agreed in February 2012 to turn the site over to local officials.

An OGS spokesman this morning had no comment on the property transfer.

Perth Supervisor Greg Fagan, chairman of the Fulton County Board of Supervisors’ Finance Committee, said today he was happy about the news the IDA may soon own the Tryon site.

“It’s been a long time coming. I hope it’s 100 percent true,” he said.

The proposed Tryon redevelopment project includes alteration of 10 acres of land, construction of a new internal access road and a stormwater collection system, and the renovation of sewer pump stations. A building on the campus known as Building No. 3 would be used as a regional business training center.

Fulton County obtained a $2 million state Empire Development Grant to pay for the road, and water and sewer upgrades.

The plan is for nine large sites totaling 240 acres to offer 2.6 million square feet to attract large companies.

The Tryon board Tuesday took action on several items after the announcement the IDA is on the verge of securing the title.

“This is going to be a major initiative,” said IDA Executive Director James Mraz. “But it’s one that could have some major benefits.”

The board authorized a $3,000 agreement with Fitzgerald, Morris, Baker and Firth of Glens Falls to provide the IDA legal services through 2014 related to the Tryon project.

The IDA – as lead agency in the state Environmental Quality Review process for the Tryon redevelopment – also issued a negative declaration on the project. The declaration means the project will not create any significant environmental impact and concludes the SEQR review. The declaration will be distributed to chief elected officials in the towns of Johnstown and Perth, and all involved agencies. Complimentary copies will be sent to the cities of Gloversville and Johnstown.

“Site drainage is an important issue for any project of this size,” Mraz said.

But Mraz said the SEQR review – involving design work by C.T. Male Associates of Latham – concluded there should be no stormwater problems.

“The rate of runoff is not going to be any greater than is happening now,” the IDA official said.

Mraz said each company locating at the new park will have to have its own stormwater management system, similar to recent area projects involving Walmart and Fage USA.

A traffic study was also done of the Tryon site that included counts from the state Department of Transportation from Maloney Road to County Highway 158 near the entrance, Mraz said. It concluded there has been only a 7 percent increase in traffic in more than 20 years. There was an average daily count of 1,916 vehicles in 1991 compared to 2,056 vehicles in 2013.

Mraz said an “A” traffic rating is the best and “F” is the worst, and it was concluded a fully developed Tryon site would have an “A” or “B” rating.

Mraz said the Fulton County Board of Supervisors will distribute a request for proposals to marketing firms to obtain cost proposals to prepare a Tryon marketing plan to review by April.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.