County applies for Lexington funding

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday approved having the county serve as an applicant for a $750,000 grant being sought for the Lexington Foundation’s planned Southern Adirondack Arts and Family Retreat Center.

There was several questions about the venture, but county Administrative Officer Jon Stead said the county shouldn’t have any extra liability.

“I don’t believe we have any financial liability,” Stead said. “But we’ll manage criteria to ensure the foundation spends money appropriately.”

The resolution passed by the board notes Lexington Foundation is planning to operate a Southern Adirondack Arts and Family Retreat Center.

County officials said the facility will include a theater, gallery space, classrooms, performance space, a cafe and retail shop “as a focal point for community events.”

The resolution said the goal of the project is “creating a modern, attractive fine arts and performing arts facility to support educational programs and supportive programs for persons with disabilities.”

Lexington Division Director for Business and Community Development Wally Hart recently told the board’s that the foundation is hoping to gain grant money for the facility, expected to cost about $3.25 million.

The foundation, the fundraising arm of Lexington, the Fulton County Chapter of NYSARC, asked the county to apply for a New York State Housing and Community Renewal Grant.

Hart said Lexington has no formalized plan or location for the center yet, but a team is working on it.

Stead said Monday there are some responsibilities for both the county and non-profit Lexington, which required an agreement involving the county.

He said Lexington is going through the state’s Consolidated Funding Application grant process.

Stratford Supervisor Robert Johnson Jr. asked whether this project will continue to be “fully-funded” later.

Stead said the county has no concerns about that, and the center will not be a county operation.

He said the county is only involved because non-profits can’t apply for Consolidated Funding Applications.

“Our responsibility is going to be for administration,” said Perth Supervisor Greg Fagan, Finance Committee chairman. “I think it’s going to be a great asset for Fulton County.”

Gloversville 3rd Ward Supervisor Michael F. Gendron, chairman of the Economic Development-Environment, noted Monday’s resolution is only to apply for grant funding.

“We’re a long way from receiving it,” he said.

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