By MICHAEL ANICH
JOHNSTOWN - Fulton County legislators are directing the Planning Department to identify sites of at least 200 acres that could be developed into possible areas for economic development.
The Board of Supervisors' Economic Development and Environment Committee took the action Tuesday.
County Planning Director James Mraz told the committee international site selector Michael Mullis recently recommended Fulton and Montgomery counties identify and develop at least two possible 200-acre shovel-ready sites to offer to companies.
"Obviously, you need a reasonably developable piece of property," Mraz said Thursday. "It should be flat and have reasonable access."
He said the kind of property his department will look for ideally will have access to not only water and sewer services, but utilities such as gas and electric.
Mraz said the southeastern quadrant of the county would be the "primary target area" - east of the Glove Cities and south of the Great Sacandaga Lake. That is the ideal area, he said, because it offers the most growth potential and best access. He said the properties would be near state highways such as Routes 30, 30A or 29.
Mullis is founder of J.M. Mullis Inc., an independent and privately owned professional project location specialist firm in Memphis, Tenn. He visited both counties last month at the request of area economic development agencies and National Grid.
Mraz told the committee that when Mullis spoke to local officials Sept. 6, he indicated a "reshoring initiative" has begun in the United States, whereby manufacturing companies are bringing their plants and factories back to the United States from overseas.
Mullis told officials that Fulton and Montgomery counties have a roughly five- to eight-year window of opportunity to attract a major manufacturing company, Mraz said.
Communities should develop 200-acre, shovel-ready sites and have a "pro-business attitude," Mraz said Mullis told officials. Mraz said Mullis indicated communities that do this will be best positioned to attract new manufacturing companies.
Michael Anich can be reached at email@example.com.