County to pay half of city water study

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County legislators this week approved having the county pay half of an evaluation of the city’s water system, which may eventually supply water for a regional business park on Route 30A.

The Board of Supervisors’ Economic Development-Environment Committee and the Finance Committee both supported a $9,600 county payment to C.T. Male Associates of Latham, which would perform the $19,200 evaluation. The full board must approve the county expenditure Aug. 11.

The Johnstown City Water Board would pay for the other half of the evaluation.

County Planning Director James Mraz on Thursday cautioned the regional business park is still a concept, but authorities need to study how to get utilities to the proposed site.

“There’s nothing built [yet],” Mraz said. “We’re marketing this as one site. There are a number of initiatives. One is to get water there.”

Economic development officials from Fulton and Montgomery counties support creation of the park, which would be built on Route 30A on just fewer than 300 acres of Mohawk farmland in Montgomery County. The site would be south of and adjacent to the Johnstown Industrial Park off Route 30A. Land would be annexed into the city to receive water and sewer services. The park would be shared by both counties trying to bring companies into the park. The city of Johnstown and town of Mohawk have been unable to agree on a revenue-sharing plan for the park, which has been discussed for four years.

Mraz told the Economic Development-Environment Committee the county’s 2014 capital plan includes $70,000 to prepare the regional business park as a shovel-ready site.

But Environmental Design Partnership’s SMART Waters report determined the city of Johnstown’s water system does not have excess water capacity. This lack of excess capacity affects the county’s desire to prepare the regional business park as a shovel-ready site.

Fulton County officials are also considering a $110,000 capital project involving construction of a new water line along Harrison Street to connect the Gloversville water system with the city of Johnstown water system. The project would allow Gloversville to supply additional water to Johnstown.

Mraz told the committee that at a recent meeting between the county and Johnstown City Water Board to discuss SMART Waters, discussion centered on the Water Board hiring C.T. Male Associates. The firm will determine what changes or improvements are necessary to allow the city to deliver a large volume of water to the regional business park site.

He said funds to pay for $9,600 of the evaluation will be paid for from the $70,000 included in the 2014 capital plan to prepare the regional business park as a shovel-ready site.

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