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Water agreement still under review

At center of the issue is FMCC’s Global Village

JOHNSTOWN — Parties impacted by the Common Council’s rescinding of a water-supply agreement in September between the city and Fulton County are still reviewing that action.

A water agreement involving Fulton-Montgomery Community College was rescinded by the Common Council on Sept. 20. It involves city water flowing through the county’s water district on Route 67 to the college.

The council on April 18 approved an amended agreement in the city’s existing water supply agreement with Fulton County to permit an additional 40,000 gallons per day for FMCC’s proposed Global Village project. That project is in the planning stages.

The April agreement was signed by the late Mayor Michael Julius, who died during the summer,. He was later replaced by Interim Mayor Cindy Lakata, who serves until the end of the year. Mayor-Elect Vern Jackson will become mayor for 2017 at the council’s Jan. 2 organizational meeting.

Lakata never gave a specific reason why the council decided to rescind the water agreement with the county. She only said current city government wanted to take “another look” at the contract negotiated under Julius’ administration.

The Fulton County Board of Supervisors since October has said that the issue is being discussed by County Attorney Jason Brott and City Attorney Michael Poulin.

“The last I knew the county and city attorney were discussing items,” county Administrative Officer Jon Stead said Monday.

Stead said county supervisors have been busy this fall with the 2017 budget process. But he said that is now over, and the oounty’s agenda will turn to other items in 2017.

He said the issue will be discussed further between the county and Jackson when “things settle down” with city of Johnstown government leadership.

When Jackson takes over in January, he will be the city’s third mayor in the past six months.

Jackson, who was recommended by Julius for a council seat in October 2015, couldn’t be reached for comment this morning.

FMCC President Dustin Swanger said Monday the Global Village project continues to move along despite the rescinding of the water deal.

“We’re still in the planning stages,” Swanger said.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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