IDA votes to pay back $18,000 to county

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Industrial Development Agency voted Tuesday to pay back Fulton County more than $18,000 for a building renovation and electrical project at the Tryon Technology Park that remains dormant after four years.

IDA Executive Director James Mraz explained the situation to his board at the Fort Johnstown Annex. The IDA owns the technology park in Perth, but Fulton County government has assisted the agency with infrastructure work.

Mraz recounted how in 2015 — the IDA in partnership with the county — applied for a grant from the Northern Borders Regional Commission to rehabilitate the 15,000-square-foot F-Wing of the 60,000-square-foot Building 3 at the Tryon Technology Park. The NBRC awarded a grant of $184,153 for the project.

In October 2015, the IDA board agreed to commit $65,847 of IDA funds towards the total cost of this project. In addition to that commitment and $184,153 from the commission, Fulton County agreed to $150,000 in funding.

Mraz said the county and IDA hired C.T. Male Associates of Johnstown to prepare plans and specifications for the project. But he said that due to National Grid not completing installation of a new primary electric service at Tryon, renovation of the F-Wing didn’t move forward.

“It’s just not done yet,” he said Friday. “That’s just the reality.”

Mraz said the Northern Borders Regional Commission withdrew its grant of $184,153.

A total of $36,888 has been expended so far on the project. Mraz said Fulton County is now seeking reimbursement of 50 percent of these costs from the IDA. The total due to Fulton County is $18,444, and the IDA board Tuesday authorized that payment to the county.

Mraz said that the NBRC said that since nothing was done for three years, it had to pull its grant funding. But he said National Grid still hopes to “get started” on the electrical project.

“We’ve got to get power first,” Mraz said. “That was one of the challenges.”

In other IDA business:

∫ The board authorized reimbursing Fulton County Planning Director Scott Henze $75 for the cost of registering for the annual IDA Academy set for Sept. 10 at Genesee County Community College.

∫ Board members authorized a payment of $6,898 to Fitzgerald Morris Baker Firth for legal services provided to the IDA as part of a recent eminent domain action involving the proposed Hales Mills Development Area. The IDA will be seeking reimbursement from Fulton County.

∫ Accepted was the resignation of board member George Doherty.

∫ The board authorized Don Brown Bus Sales to continue to park buses in a parking lot at Tryon through Oct. 30, at a cost of $500 per month. The firm is located on County Highway107, adjacent to the park.

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

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