‘Smart Waters’ resolution stalled

Cities must approve MOAs by Dec. 31

JOHNSTOWN — City officials mistakenly came to the Fulton County Board of Supervisors meeting Thursday thinking the county was going to approve a waterline agreement with the city.

But county Administrative Officer Jon Stead explained to supervisors — and Johnstown Mayor Vern Jackson and Johnstown Councilman-at-Large Craig Talarico — the proposed resolution was pulled. He said it wasn’t complete yet.

“That has been withdrawn,” Stead stated.

The proposed resolution on the agenda at the County Office Building would have authorized a Smart Waters memorandum of agreement between the county, Johnstown Common Council and the Johnstown Water Board.

But Stead explained before the meeting that the resolution had to be withdrawn because the two city entities haven’t actually approved the MOA yet.

The project involves agreeing to provide Johnstown water so the county can prepare cost estimates to extend a waterline from the city of Gloversville to the county’s waterline on Route 67. Fulton County desires to increase the number of customers using water from its Route 67 waterline. The county wants to also decrease costs of water to existing waterline customers.

The council on Dec. 18, and the water board on Dec. 21, did approve similar resolutions authorizing themselves to “begin contract negotiations with the county of Fulton in regards to Smart Waters.”

But Stead said that’s not the same as actually approving the MOA, which the Board of Supervisors tries to consider last once smaller governments have approved such agreements.

Jackson said Thursday that the council may authorize the agreement Jan. 16.

Stead said the Board of Supervisors may do the same sometime in January.

Fulton County’s interest in extending waterlines has for several months involved the city of Gloversville and on-again, off-again interest by the city of Johnstown.

The county in 2015 executed an agreement with the city of Gloversville allowing the county to purchase up to 2 million gallons of water per day from Gloversville and sell anywhere in Fulton County. The county has been exploring options to extend Gloversville water to county Water District No. 1 on Route 67. County officials also said months ago that Johnstown previously expressed no interest in such an agreement.

But the county Board of Supervisors in September tabled a resolution to prepare cost estimates to extend a waterline from the city of Gloversville to the county’s waterline on Route 67 because the city of Johnstown showed late interest. The board was prepared to pass — but ended up tabling — the Gloversville resolution involving a $3,500 agreement with Environmental Design Partnership of Clifton Park.

That tabled resolution involving Gloversville has remained on the board’s agenda for months, but never been brought to the floor. If the resolution isn’t brought to the floor by the end of 2017 — now unlikely — it will die.

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