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Local projects in plan

Economic council seeking state money

September 13, 2012
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

The six-county Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council, which includes Fulton and Montgomery counties, is seeking state funding for several projects in Fulton and Montgomery counties.

Among the proposals are expansion of the Gloversville-Johnstown sewer plant, downtown revitalization in Northville and an expansion at St. Mary's Healthcare in Amsterdam.

The council is scheduled to submit its Preliminary Action Plan for future economic development projects to the state Friday.

The plan includes applications for project funding through the Empire State Development Corp. The plan includes two projects in Fulton County and five in Montgomery County.

Overall, the council identified 70 priority projects in the region, representing a total investment of $216 million, more than 1,100 potential new jobs and more than 3,000 retained jobs.

Fulton County's projects, the plan says, include a "critical infrastructure" project involving expansion of the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility and a "Main Street" program in Northville.

The sewer plant is being expanded to better deal with pretreatment of whey from its largest customer, yogurt maker Fage USA. The company is going through a $120 million expansion at the Johnstown Industrial Park.

The expansion includes an addition to its plant on Opportunity Drive, construction of a new parking lot and a whey pretreatment plant to be built on nearby property on Union Avenue. The company wants to triple production over the next few years. Fage employs 240 people and wants to add another 150 employees with the expansion. The sewer plant needs to be expanded with the Fage upgrade.

"That's a priority project for Empire State Development funding," Fulton County Center for Regional Growth President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Reese said Wednesday.

Reese, a council member, in June submitted 10 priority applications for his county. He said he didn't have any details involving the "redevelopment program" planned for Northville. Village Mayor James Groff couldn't be reached Wednesday.

Sewage treatment plant consultant George Bevington said Wednesday an initial request of $4.5 million was put in for the sewer facility. He said the funding sought will directly affect treatment of wastewater originating from Fage's expansion.

"I'm pleased to know that was one of the projects being submitted," Bevington said.

The regional plan also notes another project involving 500 acres of "economic reuse" of the former Tryon Detention Facility in Perth. Reese said that project was merely mentioned in the plan to the state and already received $2 million in grant funding last year. That project would deed state land over to the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency to create the proposed Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center.

The council selected several projects for potential funding for Montgomery County. They include "priority projects" involving equipment for Mohawk Fabrics and an outpatient pavilion for St. Mary's Healthcare, both in Amsterdam. The county's other submissions include a "critical infrastructure" project involving both Amsterdam sewer work and a Canajoharie wastewater capital project, and work on Fort Plain's Old Military Road Trail.

Montgomery County earlier this year submitted more than 30 applications for "priority" economic development projects from that county.

Montgomery County Economic Development and Planning Director Kenneth Rose couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.

The Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council said it is one of 10 regional councils in New York state competing for $760 in state funds.

Last fall, the council submitted a plan that garnered $60.2 million in state support for 59 projects across the region through Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Regional Council initiative and Consolidated Funding Application process. The Mohawk Valley region includes Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and Schoharie counties.

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



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