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Officials sell property for $1

The Fulton County Board of Supervisors, pictured Tuesday afternoon at the County Office Building in Johnstown, approved two resolutions involving Gloversville properties. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — A Gloversville supervisor opposed Fulton County Board of Supervisors action Tuesday to transfer ownership of a parcel in that city to the Gloversville Neighborhood Improvement (GNI) Corp. Program for a model home pilot project.

But the board made the move to sell the vacant county Operation Green Scene parcel at 54 Forest St. for $1 to the city, despite the sole objection cast by Gloversville 4th Ward Supervisor Charles Potter.

“The city has come to the county on numerous occasions looking for numerous parcels of land for projects,” Potter stated. “Communication is a two-way street.”

Potter argued that the city of Gloversville has unpaid city taxes for 2020 totaling $1.2 million. He added that $408,000 of that amount, or 34 percent, represents additional charges such as accounts receivable. The supervisor said the county needed to take this opportunity to have a conversation with Gloversville to “make the city whole” with its delinquent taxes.

“That’s a lot of money, especially in a COVID-related economy,” Potter said.

But the rest of the board voted to transfer the property at 54 Forest St. over to the city.

Gloversville Mayor Vincent DeSantis attended the county meeting, but didn’t address the board.

Gloversville 2nd Ward Supervisor Frank Lauria Jr. emphasized that the effort by the Gloversville Neighborhood Improvement Program represents a “good project,” especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve always said the city needs new places to build homes,” Lauria said.

Gloversville 1st Ward Supervisor Marie Born said the project is in her ward, thanking DeSantis for his work behind the scenes.

“I think this is a very good incentive,” she said. “This seems to be a good step forward.”

The resolution passed by the board Tuesday at the County Office Building noted that the city in a Sept. 9 letter requested donation of the vacant Operation Green Scene parcel at 54 Forest St. to the city for development of the pilot project. The state Department of Homes and Community Renewal is encouraging the city to pursue a pilot project such as this one to demonstrate potential for a larger state community rehabilitation grant program.

The GNI is a not-for-profit organization assisting the city in managing the proposed model home project.

The resolution said the county’s Finance Committee supported the transfer because the pilot program is “showing progress toward community enhancement and the organization’s stated goals are complimentary to the county’s Operation Green Scene.”

Sale of the parcel was contingent upon the Board of Supervisors obtaining a written commitment from the GNI Corp. for two items. The first was that the donated parcel at 54 Forest St. will be managed and developed by the pilot project within six months – or April 13, 2021. Also, any parcels obtained will be cleaned, landscaped and fenced in a neat manner by April 13, 2021.

County Treasurer Terry Blodgett was authorized to record the appropriate deed for transfer of the parcel after payment from the GNO Corp. for any associated recording and filing fees.

In another matter involving Gloversville, the board passed a resolution referring property at 6 Cherry St. to the Fulton County Demolition Team under Operation Greene Scene. The former owner was listed as Eric Rose.

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

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