Project seems to have stalled

The inactive O'Reilly Auto Parts construction site on Route 30A in Johnstown is seen Monday. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — City officials are perturbed that the construction project for the new O’Reilly Auto Parts store on Route 30A is seemingly stalled.

In his monthly report to the Common Council Monday at City Hall, city Fire Chief Bruce Heberer said he was not sure what was going on with the O’Reilly Auto Parts project. It was started in 2018, but has not restarted this year yet. There has been no activity at the site this spring.

Heberer, the city’s code enforcement officer, said that he has been unsuccessful in contacting O’Reilly principals involved.

The half-finished project includes many open pipes and partly finished construction and is very visible from the Arterial Highway. Heberer said he knows of another O’Reilly store site that was started and remains unfinished.

Mayor Vern Jackson called the current condition of the O’Reilly site “disgusting,” telling Heberer that if he gets ahold of those involved, they should be urged to “clean it up.”

The city Planning Board on March 6, 2018 approved the project to locate an O’Reilly Auto Parts store on Route 30A. The 138 N. Comrie Ave. project, first announced in February 2018, entails a 7,454-square-foot store building. Construction is located between Wendy’s restaurant and the Microtel.

Continuing his report, Heberer said the city Fire Department had 145 calls in March, including three structure fires and 25 general service calls. He said his firefighters have been doing CPR and first aid training.

“We’ve been doing great with the [construction] permits,” Heberer said.

He said the Codes Division issued 34 building permits in April representing $297,365 worth of construction costs. A total of $1,715 worth of permit fees were collected last month. He reminded the public to contact the fire department ahead of a construction project to determine if a permit is needed.

Heberer also reminded the council that the New York state burn ban is in effect until May 15. He said outdoor campfires in the city are not allowed until that day.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at