Get deal for park done

It’s good to see economic development officials from Fulton and Montgomery counties have not abandoned the plan to develop a regional business park.

Now, we hope local officials will get together and reach agreement on the basics of the plan this year.

Recently, Fulton County Center for Regional Growth President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Reese said he has been reviewing the idea for the regional business park with Ken Rose, director of the Montgomery County Business Development Center. Reese said the pair want to meet privately about the business park idea with key members of the Fulton County Board of Supervisors and the Montgomery County Legislature.

The park would be built on just under 300 acres of Mohawk farmland in Montgomery County. The site would be south of and adjacent to the Johnstown Industrial Park off Route 30A. Land would be annexed into the city of Johnstown to receive water and sewer services. The park would then be shared by both counties trying to bring companies into the park.

However, talks regarding the possible park stalled three years ago. The city of Johnstown and town of Mohawk were unable to agree on a revenue-sharing plan for the park.

When talks broke off in early 2011, both municipalities were considering a 55 percent-45 percent split in revenue, with the larger share going to Johnstown. The duration of the agreement appeared to be a major sticking point, however. Johnstown wanted the agreement in place for 40 years, but Mohawk wanted a longer term.

On the bright side, there has been some progress on the issue recently.

Fulton County supervisors in October set aside $150,000 in capital funding for 2014 toward creation of the regional business park for the two counties. About $90,000 of the cost would go toward engineering and design, while $60,000 would be for land acquisition. The project would include funding for a railroad study.

However, much more work needs to be done.

We hope officials in both counties make 2014 the year they finally come to terms on the agreement for the park.


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