JOHNSTOWN - The Fulton County Planning Department has presented the proposal to transform the former Tryon youth detention campus into a business and technology park as a $3.1 million county capital project for 2013.
The Board of Supervisors' Buildings and Grounds-Highway Committee last week reviewed the proposed project and voted to add it to a list of potential projects to be considered July 12 by the board's Capital Projects Committee.
The county has been working with the state for some time to get the former Tryon Residential Center property transferred to the county and eventually deeded over to the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency.
Fulton County wants to turn the former Tryon youth detention campus in the town of Johnstown, above, into a business and technology park.
"It's one that certainly is known to everyone here," county Planning Director James Mraz said of the project.
He reminded the committee the plan is to convert the former Tryon campus on County Highway 107 into a proposed Tryon Park and Incubator Center.
"The goal is to hire an engineer this month," said Mraz, who is also the IDA's executive director. "We would start construction in spring 2013."
In outlining the capital project, Mraz said the Tryon site comprises 517 acres of land and about 40 existing buildings. There is also existing municipal water and sewer infrastructure, as well as natural gas and electric utilities. Mraz said the project could create new jobs and expand the local tax base.
In his capital plan request, Mraz wrote, "If the Tryon Park and Incubator Center project is not advanced, the likelihood is that the former Tryon campus would remain undeveloped and serve no economic purpose to Fulton County. Since the property is currently tax-exempt, these 517 acres of land would produce no tax benefits to the town of Perth or Fulton County. In addition, there would be no opportunity to recapture the jobs lost by the closure of Tryon."
The IDA wants to market the Tryon land and buildings to existing and new businesses. The existing access road into the campus would be deeded to the county to own, operate and maintain it as a county road.
The proposed $3.14 million cost for the capital plan is broken down by $2 million in revenue from a state grant, coupled with a $1.14 million county share.
The county share includes engineering and design, construction costs and costs associated with repaving County Highway 107.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at email@example.com.