JOHNSTOWN - The Fulton County Planning Department has identified 32 tracts of land in the county that can be used for potential economic development projects.
Fulton County supervisors last fall directed the department to identify sites of at least 200 acres that could be turned into possible areas for economic development. International site selector Michael Mullis in September recommended Fulton and Montgomery counties identify and develop at least two possible large tract shovel-ready sites to offer to companies.
Planning Director James Mraz recently reported to the Board of Supervisors' Economic Development-Environment Committee that 32 tracts were identified, with the average tract being 298.4 acres. He said the total space of the 32 tracts is 7,890 acres.
"The planning department staff has been working on this the last several months," Mraz said.
He said 31 of the 32 tracts lie outside the Glove Cities and the plan is to convert them to shovel-ready sites. The sole city of Gloversville tract is 95.3 acres of land.
Mraz said 14 of the tracts are in the town of Johnstown, encompassing 3,214 acres at 229.6 acres per tract.
The amounts of tracts in the other towns were: town of Mayfield, seven tracts, 1,197 acres; town of Perth, four tracts, 1,403 acres; town of Broadalbin, three tracts, 657 acres; town of Ephratah, one tract, 698 acres; town of Northampton, one tract, 271 acres; and town of Oppenheim, one tract, 351 acres.
Mraz said tracts of land become shovel-ready when a significant amount of information about the tract of land has been assembled, baseline studies are completed, and site control has been secured. He said the Empire State Development Corp. has a checklist for shovel-ready sites.
"That's what we're going to strive to achieve in time," Mraz said.
Mraz said the criteria used to identify large tracts of land include: total acreage, number of parcels and property owners, access, topography, potential access to water and sewer, access to gas and electric, wetlands, soil types, being in a state-approved agricultural district, and municipal zoning.
He said his department will eventually assign a numerical score to the best potential sites, rating the highest for potential.
Mraz said a final report could be available to the Economic Development-Environment Committee by its Feb. 25 meeting.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
List of Fulton County's potential developable land tracts by location:
Town of Johnstown: 14 tracts - 3,214 acres.
Town of Mayfield: seven tracts - 1,197 acres.
Town of Perth: four tracts - 1,403 acres.
Town of Broadalbin: three tracts - 657 acres.
City of Gloversville: one tract - 95 acres.
Town of Ephratah: one tract - 698 acres.
Town of Northampton: one tract - 271 acres.
Town of Oppenheim: one tract - 351 acres.