Fulton, Montgomery counties seeking new employers

Posted at: 09/06/2013 4:21 PM
Updated at: 09/06/2013 4:31 PM
By: Bill Lambdin

JOHNSTOWN - For decades when stories are done about Gloversville and Johnstown, they usually mention the glovemaking and leather processing that used to go on in factories that have long disappeared. It's a reality that's contributed to higher than average unemployment and population loss.

Earlier this week, Unshackle Upstate cited those factors in urging special tax advantages for Fulton, Montgomery and 22 other upstate New York counties.

"This area is no different than the northeast United States as a whole," Tennessee-based consultant Michael Mullis said.

Business development officials in the two counties brought in Mullis to evaluate potential sites and confer. At the top of his list for potential development is the old Tryon site in Perth.

"I think the Tryon property, although we'll probably change the name of it, has as much potential as any site that I've seen," said Mullis. "Its topography. Its access. Its environment. Its existing structures."

The latest effort involves elected officials from many of the towns and the cities of the two counties. It's a unity that often has not been there in the past, a need now understood.

"If we're going to succeed, we're going to succeed as a region," said Michael Reese, president of the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth. "We need to work together."