County to pay half of water study

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton County Board of Supervisors recently authorized the county to pay a $9,600 portion of the city Water Board’s contract with an engineering firm that’s evaluating the city’s water system.

“This is part of our ‘Jump Start Fulton County’ shovel-ready, large capacity site initiative,” county Administrative Officer Jon Stead told the board at the County Office Building.

County Planning Director James Mraz, the board’s Economic Development and Environment Committee and the Finance Committee all recommended 50 percent of the cost of the evaluation – not to exceed $9,600 – be paid to the city Water Board.

Fulton and Montgomery counties are proposing to build a regional business park on nearly 300 acres of land on Route 30A, south of Johnstown. The park would be adjacent to the Johnstown Industrial Park. The original plan was to have the city provide water to the site that’s currently in the town of Mohawk. But the city may not have long-term have excess water capacity for the site.

Supervisors in 2013 hired Environmental Design Partnership of Clifton Park to develop a $50,000 report for what the county calls the SMART Waters project. Based on that report, supervisors supported creation of a regional water and wastewater system. The county is talking to local municipalities about whether they want to sell their excess water and sewer capacity for the county system.

The board resolution that was approved noted the SMART Waters report determined the city’s water system currently doesn’t have excess water capacity to adequately service the proposed park.

But the resolution notes the city Water Board obtained a $19,200 cost proposal from C.T. Male Associates of Latham to conduct an engineering evaluation of the city’s water system. The evaluation will determine what changes or improvements should be made to allow the city to deliver a large volume of water to the proposed park.

“The proposed water system evaluation will assist the county’s effort to develop the proposed regional business park into a shovel-ready site,” the resolution states.

Fulton County has also proposed a capital project to install a water line on Harrison Street to connect Johnstown to Gloversville using $100,000 of county tax money as part of the SMART Waters initiative. The project would allow Gloversville to supply additional water to Johnstown.

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