GLOVERSVILLE - Officials from the Glove Cities said Friday they have more confidence the proposed Walmart Supercenter project will move forward, despite earlier assertions it may be dead in the water.
Second Ward Councilman John Castilgione said he met with 3rd Ward Supervisor Mike Gendron and Johnstown Mayor Sarah Slingerland on Friday morning to discuss the proposed Walmart Supercenter and the city of Johnstown's recent decision to only allow sewer service be extended to one parcel - the Fulton County Federal Credit Union - out of the eight for which Walmart officials had requested service.
At the Johnstown Common Council meeting where the decision was made, a Walmart attorney said she would recommend Walmart terminate the project because of the council's decision.
Slingerland maintains, though, the project is absolutely capable of moving forward without sewer service to the other parcels.
"There is no technical reason why the project can't move forward," she said. "[Walmart] has given no indication as to why they need sewer at the other parcels. It appears from the maps those parcels are owned by the credit union."
Slingerland said she is confident the project can move forward and has received no indication Walmart has terminated the project. She pointed out Walmart officials attended a Fulton County Planning Board meeting the day after the Johnstown meeting.
"I'm hopeful that with working with the supervisors and the council members in Gloversville we will move forward with this project," she said. "We've been able to sit down and talk within the past few days and work things out in a very positive way."
"It went very well," he said of the meeting. "It gave me a better understanding of the Johnstown position. I think based on this there is still some groundwork that needs to be covered by Gloversville, but I'm certainly not giving up on this project."
Castiglione said he understands Johnstown officials do not feel the additional parcels are needed to move the project forward. He said he does not necessarily agree with Johnstown officials, though.
"As far as I'm concerned, we have more work to do," he said.
Gloversville Mayor-elect Dayton King and Slingerland also met to discuss the project. King said he thinks the reason Johnstown did not approve service for the additional parcels is clear.
"They do not want competing restaurants or retailers around [Walmart] taking sales tax from the city [of Johnstown]," he said. "I don't think there is anything hiding that."
King said he understands Slingerland's perspective and thinks she supports the Walmart project.
"She is trying to protect her city, and I can respect that," he said.
King said he was encouraged by his meeting with Slingerland and is confident he will be able to work well with her when he takes office.
"I think if we can work together and it isn't such a head-to-head thing, if we can see eye to eye and have meetings, we can work through this," he said.
Slingerland agreed, calling her meetings with King productive.
Kayleigh Karutis covers Gloversville news. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.