Johnstown revaluation under way

JOHNSTOWN – Property data collection has begun in three of the city’s wards, the Common Council heard Monday night at City Hall.

GAR Associates has begun its citywide revaluation of the city’s 3,663 parcels in wards one, two and three, 4th Ward Councilman Edwin Queeney III reported to the council.

Queeney said the public should not hesitate to call the office of City Assessor Frank Parker – 736-4015 – with any questions.

The council in April approved a $220,000 contract with GAR Associates – based in Erie County with an Albany office – to do a revaluation of the city’s parcels. The city is borrowing money to pay for the project. The data-collection process is expected to last through September. City officials say the goal of the project is to create fair and equitable property assessments with 100 percent of full-market value for the 2015 tax roll. The city’s state equalization rate now is 70 percent.

In other council liaison reports:

Second Ward Councilwoman Kathi Iannotti said city Fire Chief Bruce Heberer and city Engineer Chandra Cotter met with property owners awarded funding through the city’s NY Main Street Grant Program. The city in December received $200,000 in state grant funding to revitalize downtown via streetscape improvements and building renovations. The Common Council in April indicated seven downtown properties are receiving grant funding.

Iannotti said specific environmental reviews of individual projects will be submitted to the state.

She also reported all work at the former Karg Bros. tannery site has been completed. The city previously worked with consultant Arcadis-US of Clifton Park to clean up remaining pollutants. The city Department of Public Works earlier this year spread soil throughout the site to ready it for future redevelopment.

First Ward Councilwoman Cindy Lakata reported the city Police Department had 694 calls for service in June, and the city Fire Department responded to 69 calls for service in June. She said firefighters last month completed in-service training on basic firefighting operations, use and emergency situations with breathing apparatus.

Queeney reported the public can still register for the Johnstown Public Library’s Summer Reading Program, which runs until Aug. 8.

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