Weather could delay building rehab

Start may wait until spring

JOHNSTOWN — Resumption of the Fulton County Office Building renovation project is contingent upon cooperative weather, but a planning official said that realistically it may have to wait until spring.

County officials announced in November that part one of the $500,000 project was complete. That phase involved the West Main Street front entrance of the County Office Building, with a new handicapped walkway, sidewalks and historic trail.

But officials never stated when the start of the second phase of project, on the North William Street side of the project, was due to begin.

Fulton County Planning Director Scott Henze said Tuesday that the answer is “as weather determines.”

He said the county and the contractor — R&B Construction of Amsterdam — will make a joint decision on when the extensive renovation project may resume.

“We’ll probably proceed cautiously, probably later in the spring,” Henze said.

The contractor must also be wary about getting started and having heavy inclement weather or an “April snowstorm” hamper progress, he said.

The first phase of the project was mostly done during warmer months in 2018. Exterior renovation work was ongoing last summer. The project rebuilt the main entrance to provide better access, more safety and adapt a new handicap accessible ramp to better serve the public.

Other improvements made so far have included new sidewalks and curbs around the building, parking lot repaving and a new “Historic Features Walkway” to highlight the Johnstown area’s historic sites.

Former state Sen. Hugh T. Farley obtained a State and Municipal Facilities Grant of $450,000 to largely make the project feasible, with the balance of funding coming from county capital improvement reserves.

Henze said work similar to the first phase will continue with the second phase, as the county Family Court front entrance side of the project on North William Street gets a refurbishing.

“It will basically be the existing handicap ramp that’s there now,” he said.

Walkways and landscaping around the Family Court area will also be improved, Henze said.

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

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