Johnstown, Mohawk trying to schedule meeting on business park

Revenue-sharing deal on agenda

JOHNSTOWN — The city of Johnstown and the town of Mohawk are trying to hammer out a joint revenue-sharing agreement that could help bring the longtime proposed regional business park to fruition.

“Right now, we’re trying to schedule a meeting with the town of Mohawk,” Johnstown Mayor Vern Jackson said Thursday. “We’re getting hung up on the dates.”

He said the city of Johnstown has a vested interest in moving the project along, especially with the city’s $33,000 payment toward an environmental study being done.

“It’s about time we went back into this,” Jackson said.

Mohawk Supervisor Ed Bishop confirmed Friday that both municipalities are trying to get on equal footing regarding the proposed park.

“We passed a couple communications back and forth,” Bishop said. “We believe the revenue sharing is as important as the annexation process.”

But Bishop said there isn’t the same “incentive” Johnstown has for the project, as Mohawk is losing land.

The Johnstown Common Council voted unanimously Dec. 7, 2015 to discontinue negotiating with the town of Mohawk over the proposed regional business park.

Bishop then had asked the council to consider an 80-year revenue-sharing agreement for the proposed regional business park, paying the city 55 percent and the town 45 percent.

Economic development officials from Fulton and Montgomery counties have worked on the proposed park project for the past several years.

The city of Johnstown and town of Mohawk have for several years –spanning three city mayors and two town supervisors –been trying work out a revenue-sharing deal. One of the main stumbling blocks that has hindered years of negotiations is the length of a revenue-sharing contract.

The proposed business park involves annexation of more than 260 acres of land now in the town of Mohawk into the city of Johnstown. The park, which would get water and sewer service from Johnstown, would be built near the Johnstown Industrial Park off Route 30A, on the border of Fulton and Montgomery counties.

Officials from both counties say such a park may lure a large business to the area.

Annexation petitions were filed by property owners in the town of Mohawk proposing their properties be annexed into the city of Johnstown, Property owners who have applied for the annexation are: Milltown Plaza Inc., Steve Miller, Jerrold Miller and James Miller.

The Fulton County Board of Supervisors in March authorized a $100,000 contract with Sterling Environmental Engineering P.C. of Latham to prepare a draft/final Environmental Impact Statement on the annexation of land needed for the proposed regional business park. The board in December had sought requests for proposals to prepare the draft EIS, as part of the normal state Environmental Quality Review process for annexation of land to be utilized for the park.

State municipal annexation law requires SEQR work be completed before any action is taken on proposed annexation petitions. Contributing to Sterling’s work are one-third shares of $33,334 from Fulton County, Montgomery County and the city of Johnstown.

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

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