Counties net park plans

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County and the Montgomery County Industrial Development Agency last week received nearly $100,000 in low professional proposals to do preliminary work at the proposed regional business park site.

The roughly 260-acre site off Route 30A in Mohawk has been eyed by both counties for a proposed park. Fulton County government and the Montgomery County Industrial Development Agency on July 25 put out requests for proposals for initial baseline studies, although they are not required to accept the lowest proposals.

Fulton County Planning Director James Mraz said Tuesday that RFPs came back last week. He said the total of all the low proposals for four areas of work was $98,980. Mraz said today the Board of Supervisors’ Economic Development-Environment Commitee on Tuesday approved the low proposals.

Mraz said one of the proposals was for a series of engineering studies, including wetlands investigation, geotechnical work and a traffic study. He said M.J. Engineering of Clifton Park, Saratoga County, had the lowest proposal at $52,000.

Plumley Engineering of Baldwinsville, Onondaga County, had the low proposal at $28,350 to conduct an engineering evaluation of whether rail service can be re-established through the regional business park site, Mraz said.

Mraz said a third scope of work involves topographic and property survey work. Ferguson & Foss land surveyors of Johnstown had the lowest proposal at $17,500.

A phase one archeological report will have to be prepared, he said. Hartgen Archeological Associates of Rensselaer had the lowest proposal at $1,130.

Park project

Economic development officials from both counties have supported creation of the regional business park for about five years. It could be built on 260 acres of farmland in Montgomery County. The site would be south of and adjacent to the Johnstown Industrial Park off Route 30A in Fulton County. Land would be annexed into the city of Johnstown to receive water and sewer services. The site would be shared by both counties trying to bring companies into the park.

Mraz said the cost of this initial work will be paid by both Fulton County government and the Montgomery County IDA. He said he “assumes” Fulton County will pay its 50 percent share of this baseline work, although exactly how much funding will come from where is still being worked out.

Fulton County’s 2014 capital plan includes $70,000 to prepare the regional business park as a shovel-ready site.

“We are also seeking funding from National Grid to help pay for these studies,” Mraz said.

The need for rail service for the site was stressed by the counties in sending out the RFP. The proposal to firms stated: “The importance to re-establishing rail service to the regional business park site is clear. In 2007, a company proposed moving to the Fulton/Montgomery County region and building a large manufacturing facility on a site known as the regional business park. The lack of rail service to the site was a major impediment to advancing this major project.”