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City awaits state report on Karg’s site

December 26, 2012
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - The city may know more from the state by mid-January about a plan to totally remediate the former Karg Bros. tannery site on North Perry Street.

Johnstown 2nd Ward Councilman Chris Foss provided an update on the situation during a Department of Public Works report he gave to the Common Council last week at City Hall.

For several years, the city has been trying to develop a plan to completely clean up the former Karg Bros. tannery site, which was shut down in the mid-1990s. The city has a state Brownfields grant and has been working with the state to assess contamination at the site before it can be remediated.

Foss said City Engineer Chandra Cotter requested an update on the situation from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. He said the DEC and the state Department of Health continue to review data on how much remediation is needed at the site. He said the city should know more information about cleanup of the Karg's site by mid-January.

"It's been a long time [coming]," Foss said.

Elsewhere in his DPW report, Foss said a report on work completed at the long-closed city landfill on West Fulton Street Extension was submitted to the city's consultant for review.

Development of the city's new website through Cotter's office continues, Foss reported.

A project to upgrade the city's portion of the Fulton County Rail Trail is "currently on hold," Foss said, pending an unspecified issue involving the administration of federal grant money. Work by a design consultant will go out to bid in January, he said.

The DPW budget for 2013 shows a 10 percent increase, but most of that represents reimbursable federal funding for Rail Trail work planned for next year. Cotter wants to implement a Rail Trail Improvement Program in 2013 using leftover federal money to improve parts of the trail.

Cotter said a section of the trail through the city could be repaved with a 1 1/2-inch topcoat, something she said is sorely needed. Also, she said improvements could involve adding new signs and a trail head on the Union Avenue side of the trail.

In other departmental liaison reports at the meeting:

In November, the Fire Department responded to 52 calls for service. Calls included four structure fires, five motor-vehicle accidents, eight hazardous-condition calls, four medical-assistance calls and six carbon dioxide calls.

The Fire Department completed ward sweeps for the year and complaint responses are being addressed as needed, Heberer said.

Mayor Sarah Slingerland, a former teacher, asked for a moment of silence for the recent Connecticut school shooting tragedy, which she called a "terrible, horrible event."

Library planning fundraiser

The Johnstown Public Library will host mini-golf as part of its 17th annual fundraiser set for April 20 at the facility, the Common Council heard last week.

In his report on monthly library activities, Johnstown 2nd Ward Councilman Chris Foss said the annual fundraiser will be slightly different from last year. The event normally is known as Storybook Sundae, with themed baskets raffled in an event at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.

Foss said the baskets are still needed for the annual raffle, but he said the fundraiser this time will feature mini-golf.

"The golf is going to be in the library," Library Director Erica Wing said.

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



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