Four years ago, the Fulton County Board of Supervisors decided to go on the offensive to speed up Fulton County’s emergence from the Great Recession that had gripped the nation. County leaders created Jump Start Fulton County, a multi-step plan to build infrastructure and encourage investment in the community. With a vision and a strategy to get there, our efforts are beginning to bear fruit.
The “SMART Waters Initiative,” a comprehensive system to supply public water and sewage treatment services within the county, became a reality in early 2016. This landmark inter-municipal agreement is focused on growing the local economy and creating special private investment opportunities in three Primary Development Areas (PDA): Hales Mills PDA, Vail Mills PDA and the Tryon PDA. County government has invested millions of dollars in infrastructure to make these PDAs attractive for residential developers and retail centers.
Each of these special sites offers between 100 to 400 acres of land that is zoned for development with pre-approved concept plans by town officials already in place. Local agencies have installed an expedited project approval process to move planning, construction and investment decisions along swiftly and our county economic development specialists are poised to assist at all stages. In the cities of Gloversville and Johnstown, city leaders are working on downtown redevelopment plans to reinvigorate their business districts and expand hospitality for shoppers and tourists.
In addition to these efforts, the Tryon Technology Park was created through a unique adaptive reuse of a former state juvenile detention campus. The Tryon facility now offers 240 acres of shovel-ready sites for technology businesses at extremely competitive rates. A newly constructed county highway conveniently services all building sites. Vireo Health of New York, one of five companies licensed by the state to manufacture medicine from cannabis, chose Tryon as its home. The location is a natural setting for technology-based companies.
County officials and business leaders are now adapting Jump Start Fulton County into a broader 10-year plan, Vision 2026, to guide new economic growth and prosperity for current and future residents over the next decade. The Fulton County region is a great place to live, work and raise a family. We have beautiful landscapes, exceptional outdoor recreation and safe communities. New infrastructure, affordable real estate and expedited approvals make this Capital District neighbor a great option for your next big move.
Jon Stead, is the Fulton County Administrative Officer, Johnstown, N.Y.