Gas line impedes expansion

Century Linen working with National Grid

JOHNSTOWN — Century Linen & Uniform’s expansion project to the Johnstown Industrial Park has a utility problem.

Mayor Vern Jackson alluded to the problem following the Common Council meeting Monday night at City Hall.

Gloversville-based Century Linen & Uniform wants to expand to 123 Union Ave. in the Johnstown Industrial Park. The firm hopes to relocate its Gloversville operation there. The building contains 60,000 square feet and is currently owned by STAG of Boston, Mass. Century Linen may invest about $12 million in the project through renovating the building and purchasing and installing new machinery and equipment.

Century Linen has said it doesn’t expect any layoffs of its 225 Fulton County employees.

The new problem relates to a need for a bigger gas line for the industrial park building. Century Linen owner Richard Smith is working with National Grid, which wants his company to pay for the $650,000 line.

Jackson said Smith is working with the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth on the gas issue.

“He hasn’t said they’re not coming,” the mayor said. “We’re going to work on it.”

Both Smith and CRG President and Chief Executive Officer Ronald Peters haven’t returned phone calls this week seeking comment.

Smith has said the project is needed by Century Linen to upgrade and modernize its operation, remain competitive, and support recent and future growth of its business.

Century Linen & Uniform, employing 300 full-time workers, provides healthcare linen services, work uniform programs, entrance mats, and other linen services to businesses throughout New York state. It has two Fulton County locations — 335 N. Main St. in Gloversville, a plant that serves exclusively healthcare; and 542 N. Perry St. in Johnstown, a plant that the IDA said serves restaurants, hotels, industrial, and retail medical sectors.

The company also operates three service centers on Railroad Avenue in Albany; in Canastota, Madison County; and in Potsdam, St. Lawrence County.

The Fulton County Industrial Development Agency, in November, approved $724,800 in sales tax exemption benefits for Century Linen. The firm sought IDA benefits for the purpose of constructing and equipping the new facility.

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