By MICHAEL ANICH
JOHNSTOWN - The time to delay a Fulton County road project and infrastructure work at the proposed Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center until 2014 is "getting close" because the state hasn't yet transferred the property to local officials, a county official says.
County Planning Director James Mraz, also executive director of the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency, told the IDA board Thursday the project may be delayed.
"It's somewhat on hold, too, because we haven't completed the transfer," Mraz said. "We're kind of still in a waiting pattern."
Fulton County and the IDA are working toward creation of a new Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center at the former 515-acre former Tryon Detention Center in Perth. The project includes reconstructing a part of an existing internal access road and installation of some new water and sewer lines, but can't proceed until the state deeds over the property title to the IDA. The state agreed in February 2012 to turn the property over to local officials.
C.T. Male Associates of Latham has been working on design plans and bid specifications for the construction project county government has been hoping to undertake this year. But Mraz said some routine holdups have resulted in design work - about 80 percent done already - being put "on hold" until title to the property is deeded over to the IDA.
When the board asked if work will now begin in 2014, Mraz replied: "It could very well be where we're headed. We're certainly getting close to that point. But I don't think we're to the point of no return."
IDA attorney Kara Lais said attempts are being made to get additional information - some environmental-related - from "other departments" such as the state Office of General Services.
"They think we're owed some additional information based on the requests that were made," Lais said.
Mraz said he eventually would like to have a three-member IDA committee formed related to the Tryon project "to start talking about strategies" that will occur with the title transfer. He said the committee can formulate ways to deal with issues such as income generation, marketing and maintenance at the new park and incubator center.
The county received a $2 million Empire State Development Corp. grant to pay for the Tryon infrastructure project. Eventually, the plan is for nine large sites totaling 240 acres to offer 2.6 million square feet to attract large companies, but other smaller Tryon lots also would be available for development. Mraz said that amount of space is larger than Gloversville's Crossroads Industrial Park and the Johnstown Industrial Park combined.
Michael Anich can be reached at email@example.com.