The Fulton County Board of Supervisors is “shocked” the county was overlooked in the latest round of state Regional Economic Development Council grants.
Though 57 projects in the Mohawk Valley region received funding from the council last week, not one was in Fulton County.
“It is unimaginable that no projects within Fulton County were worthy of a grant award,” reads a news release issued Thursday by the board
Five other counties in the region, including Montgomery and Schoharie counties, received a total of $17,771,848 for 57 projects. Montgomery County received $1,779,625 for five projects, while Schoharie County received $1,530,316 for 10 projects.
The release said the lack of funding is a “glaring example” of the system’s failure, saying the second phase of the Tryon Technology Park should have received an award. Fulton County officials have been working to transform the former Tryon Juvenile Detention Center into a high-tech business park.
According to the release, the Mohawk Valley council recommended “12 priority projects, including the Tryon Technology Park: Phase II.”
“While the council recognized the importance of the Tryon initiative, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s final decision was to bypass it and Fulton County altogether,” the release says. “It is a critically important project.”
The release also said a state grant for the project would have resulted in “immediate progress with a strong regional impact.”
The second phase of the project, according to county officials, includes updating water systems and completing major electrical work at the facility.
Gloversville 3rd Ward Supervisor Michael Gendron, chairman of the board’s Economic Development Committee, said the county has just finalized its budget for next year and was banking on some funding from the state.
“We expected something from the state REDC,” he said. “To get zero dollars is really devastating. It can’t really get any worse than that.”
Gendron said the project has “merit” and would bring jobs back to an area that is in dire need of employment.
“When the detention center closed down, we lost about 300 jobs,” he said. “This new technology park could help bring some of those back.”
“We initially thought there must have been some typographical error on the announcement when our county wasn’t even listed,” said board Chairman and Mayfield town Supervisor Richard Argotsinger. “Once we confirmed it wasn’t a typo, we were stunned by the decision to snub our county.”
Assemblyman Marc Butler, R-Newport, who represents part of Fulton County, did not return a phone call seeking comment Thursday.
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