County seeking Tryon project bids

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County supervisors this week authorized advertisement for bids for the first phase of infrastructure work at the Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center in Perth.

The county board voted to seek bids until 2 p.m. April 23 at the County Office Building.

“The Board of Supervisors and the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency have agreed to partner on efforts to transform the former Tryon campus into a modern Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center for the benefit of all citizens in the Fulton County region,” the resolution says.

The county 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.

It is estimated 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.

In other Tryon project-related action:

The county board requested extension of the state’s Tryon Economic Transformation Area, or TETA, which was created by the state in September 2011. The deadline is scheduled to expire Jan. 1, 2015. The county wants the TETA deadline for businesses to apply for tax incentives extended through Jan. 1, 2018.

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.

The board resolution formally requests Fulton County’s representatives on the state Legislature – state Sen. Hugh T. Farley, R-Niskayuna, and state Assemblyman Marc W. Butler, R-Newport – “sponsor appropriate legislation to achieve extension of this important incentive program for the Fulton County and Montgomery County regions.”

Supervisors endorsed Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s SUNY START-UP NY plan, which establishes tax-free zones for businesses. Such tax-free areas are an initiative out of the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The FMCC plan includes three different sites: the Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center in Perth, Florida Park Extension in Amsterdam and the FM Foundation property along Route 67 and Bendick Corners Road in the town of Amsterdam.

A tax-free area must be on a SUNY campus or be within one mile of the campus. Each campus can designate up to 200,000 square feet of land or building space on campus or within one mile. Tax-free areas can be designated farther than one mile with Empire State Development approval. Businesses in those areas don’t pay any taxes – whether it’s business-corporate, sales or property taxes – for 10 years. Employees of such businesses will pay no income taxes in their wages for the first five years.

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