County weighs sale of city annex

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County government, which owns an annex building in Gloversville rented by St. Mary’s Healthcare for a mental health clinic, is considering selling the building.

The issue of what to do with the building was raised at a recent meeting of the Board of Supervisors’ Buildings and Grounds-Highway Committee at the County Office Building.

County government in the beginning of 2012 ceased operating its two Gloversville-based mental health clinics, which were taken over by Amsterdam-based St. Mary’s Healthcare. There were the former mental health clinic at county annex at 57 E. Fulton St., and the addiction clinic at 73 N. Main St., which is the Argersinger building owned by the Crossroads Incubator Corp.

The committee authorized an extension of the county’s existing lease agreement with St. Mary’s Healthcare until Dec. 31 for the clinic at 57 E. Fulton St. The full board will consider action Monday. County Highways and Facilities Superintendent Mark Yost said St. Mary’s Healthcare elected to exercise the second of two, one-year rental options provided for in the original agreement.

Board Chairman Rick Argotsinger asked whether the county has looked into selling the building.

“I guess that’s up to the board,” Yost responded.

Yost said the current lease agreement provides the county $96,000 annually. But he said that with expenses such as custodial, gas and electric, and plowing, the county hasn’t made any money the first few years. He said the 10,000-square-foot East Fulton Street building is assessed at about $700,000. There isn’t any major maintenance needed at the building in the immediate future, he said.

He said St. Mary’s Healthcare hasn’t talked about wanting to buy the building.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said the county still has three staff members of a Community Services Department still utilizing part of the building. He said the question is whether anyone will want the building.

Gloversville 4th Ward Supervisor Charles Potter said the county should explore selling the annex versus renting it.

Stead said county staff can come back to supervisors with data and research about a potential sale.

The committee passed a separate motion to have Yost research options for sale of the building and report back to the committee by March.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at