Public hearing held for block grant

JOHNSTOWN — The Common Council conducted a public hearing Monday regarding a Community Development Block Grant for Gloversville-headquartered Century Linen & Uniform’s expansion move to the Johnstown Industrial Park.

No one spoke at the hearing at City Hall.

Nicholas Zabawsky, a grant consultant used by the city, told the council as a public speaker that the public hearing was required. He said Century Linen & Uniform has been in business over 100 years and wants to expand to 123 Union Ave. in the Johnstown Industrial Park.

“They need a newer and more efficient operation,” Zabawsky said.

Company owner Richard Smith said May 26 that his company, which employs about 300 people, was considering making an $8 million move to the Johnstown Industrial Park.

Smith at the time noted Century Linen & Uniform was awarded a $1.7 million state grant funding in December 2015 through a Consolidated Funding Application the company submitted, but didn’t follow through.

Century Linen & Uniform — formerly Robison & Smith — is a family-owned company that has been headquartered in Gloversville for many decades. The firm has Fulton County facilities at 335 N. Main St. in Gloversville and 542 N. Perry St. in Johnstown. The company also has service centers on Railroad Avenue Albany, on North Peterboro Street in Canastota in Madison County, and in Potsdam in St. Lawrence County.

Zabawsky told the council Monday that Century Linen & Uniform is looking to keep operations going at the Gloversville and North Perry Street buildings. He said the firm expects 190 people to be working on Union Avenue, mostly from the Gloversville operation.

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