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Town rejects request for study funding

December 24, 2012
JOHN BORGOLINI , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - Town officials Thursday voted 4-1 against helping to pay for a study of the feasibility of building a highway from the Thruway in Fultonville to Fulton County.

The federal government is offering a $400,000 grant for the study, but it would require a $100,000 local match. Fulton County has agreed to pay $50,000 for the study, but Montgomery County officials voted against the study.

Fulton County government has sent letters to municipalities in Fulton and Montgomery counties asking for contributions to pay for the $100,000 local share.

Town Councilman Walter Lane, who voted against the funding, said he and the three other members voted it down for a variety of reasons.

"The state just built a new bridge down there. I don't know why they would need a new bridge," he said. "There would be businesses that would suffer if the traffic didn't go through there. And, frankly, the county doesn't have the money. It doesn't mean we don't approve of the project. We just don't think it's the right time."

Town Supervisor Nancy MacVean said it's a good idea to build the road, but the town couldn't possibly fund an extra $50,000 in 2013.

MacVean also said the cost of the study is high.

"Basically, we thought it was a big waste of money," she said. "Who ever heard of half a million dollars for a study? It's nice that they got a grant for $400,000, but we already passed our budget, and we keep our taxes low by not throwing money around without a lot of serious thinking about it.

"It just seems like a very costly venture, and four of us were in agreement that it wasn't worth it," she said.

Town Councilman Daryl Baldwin cast the lone vote for the town contributing money for the study.

"I voted to spend the money," Baldwin said. "I thought we would benefit the most from that road. ... It would help Gloversville and Johnstown more."

The "connector" highway, if built, would run from Thruway Exit 28 through the town of Johnstown to an area near Route 30A at the Johnstown Industrial Park.



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