Glove Cities’ water project dead for now

JOHNSTOWN — A proposed water project that Fulton County has tried to spur between the Glove Cities is dead at this time, county Administrative Officer Jon Stead said Friday.

Stead said the proposed “interconnections” repair project between Gloversville and Johnstown will probably not happen “in the near future.”

The Johnstown City Water Board on April 10 passed a motion to authorize Water Department Clerk Barbara Koehler to advise Fulton County that the city of Johnstown “administration” does not intend to proceed with what it called an “intercity connection” project.

Stead said county officials recently started again exploring the project because all county department heads are being asked to look at their current capital projects and potential projects for 2018.

“We asked both [cities’] water departments about the status of the project,” he said.

Stead said the project is known on the county level as the water system interconnections repair project. The project was supposed to involve work on water lines from Harrison Street, south to Johnstown.

County supervisors previously authorized a $51,000 grant incentive proposal process with the Empire State Development Corp. to obtain the money as part of an estimated $255,000 2016 Jump Start: Fulton County capital project. The rest of the project funding was supposed to come from Fulton County ($102,000), and $51,000 each from the Gloversville Water Board and Johnstown Water Board.

Meanwhile, water fluoridation is the key issue in preventing the project from moving forward.

Stead called it an “impediment” to the cities project.

“It’s a connection with Gloversville and they’ve got fluoride within the water,” Johnstown Mayor Vern Jackson said today.

Jackson said both cities have decided not to pursue the project. He recounted how Johnstown voters rejected fluoridation for that city decades ago. But he said the fluoridation issue is always up for discussion.

“If the people want to look at it again, I guess we can revisit it,” the mayor said.

County officials have said that for the sake of the county’s Smart Waters initiative projects, the cities must be on the same page with fluoridation.

COMMENTS