Fulton County probation considering moving

GLOVERSVILLE — The Fulton County Probation Department may be moving across East Fulton Street to a different building in February.

Probation Director Cynthia Licciardi said Tuesday that she conferred with the county Highway and Facilities Department about the move. Her department would be moving from its existing building at 64 E. Fulton St. — next to the Gloversville Public Library property — to the Fulton County Annex building at 57 E. Fulton St.

Licciardi said buildings and grounds personnel told her the Probation Department may be moved the second week of February.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” she said. “It will give us more space.”

The move by the probation agency is part of a Concept Utilization Plan for the County Annex approved by the Fulton County Board of Supervisors in November.

St. Mary’s Healthcare moved out of the two-story annex building at 57 E. Fulton St. in September, leaving only three county Community Services Department employees. Fulton County is now trying to repurpose the building. The county Probation Department needs more space, but questions will now have to be answered as to what the county will do with the probation building.

According to the new Concept Utilization Plan, it calls for annex reoccupation not only by the Probation Department, but the Public Defender’s Office and a new Assigned Counsel Administrator Office. Renovations for reoccupation were estimated at about $20,000.

The Public Defender’s Office has been based at the Johnstown Professional Office Building, but is due to also move to the annex. That office is going through changes with former Public Defender Gerard McAuliffe being sworn in as Fulton County Family Court’s new judge, and attorney Roger Paul taking his position. The public defender is now full time.

State mandates enacted two years ago after a lawsuit settlement by the state will be requiring a major expansion of public defender offices in the next two to five years. Full-time people in such offices are being required, unlike part-time assistants now.

Robin Kane Consulting has indicated to county officials it is willing to take on grant work for the new Public Defender’s Office, and assist at the annex.

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