JOHNSTOWN -As Fulton County awaits state transfer of the former Tryon property to the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency, the state is asking the county to plow snow this winter at the site for free.
County Planning Director James Mraz said up to two miles of looping access road will have to be plowed because the state didn't budget for it.
"[The state] thought the deed transfer would take place before the beginning of the year so they didn't budget anything," Mraz told the Board of Supervisors' Buildings and Grounds-Highway Committee Tuesday.
He said the state advised the county it will not plow snow on the Tryon access road this upcoming winter.
The full board Tuesday, immediately following the committee meeting, authorized county Superintendent of Highways and Facilities Mark Yost to provide snowplowing at the former Tryon facility for 2012-13.
"We have to protect our investment," board Chairman Michael F. Gendron said.
County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said Wednesday the county won't be paid anything for the plowing since the property has been virtually transferred by the state. He said the county will later determine how the campus will be permanently plowed.
The former Tryon youth detention facility - operated by the state Office of Children & Family Services - closed Aug. 30, 2011. The state on Sept. 20 approved transfer of the former Tryon property to the IDA, but the property hasn't been formally deeded over yet. Transfer of the title is pending completion of an environmental site assessment.
The IDA wants to turn the 515-acre property into the Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center on land stretching across the towns of Perth and Johnstown. State and local officials hope the redeveloped site attracts hundreds of jobs.
Mraz told the committee OCFS will provide the county with a certificate of insurance.
Yost told the committee he won't add the Tryon campus to his regular snowstorm plowing routes. But he did say a "turnaround" area on the campus may be excavated so county trucks can properly plow. He said it will probably take two county drivers to plow.
It was noted some plowing needs to be done at Tryon for fire safety reasons, although several of the buildings are concrete.
"We're not going to treat it as a priority, but we'll make sure we get out and open [the campus] up," Yost said.
Mraz has said the Tryon campus, with 40 existing buildings, could be ready to market with shovel-ready sites some time in 2013.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.