County plans to start Tryon work

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County is taking steps to turn the former Tryon youth detention center into a business park.

County supervisors this week gave preliminary approval to advertise for bids for infrastructure work associated with the first phase of the Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center project in Perth.

The Board of Supervisors’ Economic Development-Environment Committee authorized the bidding for the first of two phases of work. The full county board will vote on final authorization March 10.

“Phase I is what we’re ready to go out to bid with,” said county Planning Director James Mraz.

The project is listed in the county’s 2014 capital budget. The county is working on the project with the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency, which owns the site.

The county has received a $2 million grant from Empire State Development to pay for the first phase. That phase includes: 2,500 feet of new road, 3,500 feet of new water line, 600 feet of new sanitary sewer line, repair of the damaged electrical system at the site’s wastewater pump station, repair of the wastewater pump station on the south side of County Highway 107, and stormwater collection and treatment.

Mraz said the Tryon project eventually will require a second phase, which will include disconnecting water and wastewater lines from the state Hale Creek Correctional Facility, construction of a water booster station, construction of an elevated water storage tank, and installation of additional water and sanitary sewer lines. He said new grant money will be sought for that phase.

The county is scheduled to advertise for bids for the first phase March 26 and open them April 23. Mraz estimates the Board of Supervisors will award a contract May 12, with a June construction start. Construction for phase one is estimated to be completed by October.

The committee also supported extension of the state’s Tryon Economic Transformation Area, or TETA, which was created by the state in September 2011. Mraz said TETA was created to provide tax incentives to encourage businesses to move into an area affected by the closing of a state juvenile detention facility or prison. Fulton County’s TETA includes a 15-mile radius around the 515-acre Tryon campus. Eligible businesses have to apply for tax incentives by Jan. 15.

The committee passed a resolution – also to be voted on by the board March 10 – formally asking the state Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to extend the deadline for businesses to apply for tax incentives through TETA until Jan. 1, 2018.

Michael Anich can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.