Fulton and Montgomery counties development officials discuss industrial park

The economic development agencies of Fulton County and Montgomery County have begun discussions abou

The economic development agencies of Fulton County and Montgomery County have begun discussions about the creation of a joint industrial park.

Officials from the two counties met March 4 to begin preliminary discussions about enhancing cooperation between the two counties. Fulton County Economic Development Corp. CEO Michael Reese said discussions included the possibility of a new industrial park on Route 30A near the border of the two counties. He said the details of the potential project have yet to be worked out.

“We’ve had preliminary discussions about trying to work more closely together in the future in more of a regional way to promote economic development. One of those areas is obviously the need in both counties for serviced industrial sites for future development,” Reese said. “We haven’t really specified a specific location at this point. [The Route 30A site] could be one of the sites. This could also have to do with marketing. When we talk to companies outside of the state or the county they don’t distinguish between a county boundary. They’re looking at regions.”

Space in the existing parks in the two counties is shrinking. The Johnstown Industrial Park has a 20-acre parcel and a 5-acre parcel available for development. The Crossroads Industrial Park has approximately 35 acres between two available parcels.

Ken Rose, Montgomery County’s director of economic development and planning, said in his county the Florida Business Park is full except for about five acres of developable land. The Florida Business Park extension will have about 97 acres in it after janitorial product distribution company Hill and Markes moves into the park. The Glen Canal View Business Park has between 30 and 40 acres available for development.

Reese said when Fulton County was competing for the GE battery plant, which will be built in Schenectady, there was just barely enough space for it in the Johnstown Industrial Park.

“We aren’t always going to hit the big one but if a larger development were to come into us today and say they need 60 acres in one spot for a project we really can’t answer that today,” he said.

Some of the issues with building a new joint industrial park include providing it with utilities, determining which governments would benefit from the tax revenues from companies that move into it and whether any land would be needed to be annexed to make the project happen. Reese said issues like infrastructure delivery, roads and police and fire department protection will play a role in whether any land will need to be annexed.

“We didn’t discuss annexation, it’s a very delicate subject,” Reese said. “That’s something we may need to look at down the road, depending on the site, depending on who’s going to provide the infrastructure, who’s going to own or manage the industrial park. All of those things need to be flushed out before you can get anywhere near deciding to move land from one municipality to another.”

Rose said it may be possible for the governments involved to share tax revenue from a joint park, blunting the economic impact of any annexation and possibly eliminating the need for it.

“There are types of agreements you could enter into in terms of property tax sharing for projects. We’re confident this can be done,” Rose said.

Reese and Rose said more formal discussions will be held, likely within the next month, but no date for a meeting has been set.

Categories: Schenectady County

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