By LEVI PASCHER
Fulton County Express
GLOVERSVILLE — The city and the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth have decided to end the existing lawsuits between the two sides in an effort to move both entities in a positive direction, officials from both parities said.
Last week, the Common Council approved ending the lawsuit against the CRG and two economic agencies previously associated with the CRG over the control of previous loan funds.
The council unanimously approved resolutions at the meeting last Tuesday to end the previous court cases against the Fulton County Economic Development Corp., the Crossroads Incubator Corp and the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth. The various agencies previously managed the city’s Urban Development Action Grant loan pool.
In 2012, the city filed two lawsuits against the economic development agencies related to funds used on the development of the Estee Commons and other loans administered by the agencies on the city’s behalf.
Mayor Dayton King said he and the council believed it was in the city’s best interest to drop the existing cases against the agencies to allow the CRG and city to partner on future economic development initiatives. He also said the decision to proceed with a new partnership was made because the council as a whole is taking a new approach to move the city forward.
“We’ve had a new attitude since the last election,” King said. “We want to move the city forward and the council thought this was a step in the right direction. Both sides were paying the legal fees to have these cases move forward but really these things don’t move fast and we could have been sitting on this for months or even years. We thought it was right to put our best foot forward and work cooperatively.”
He also mentioned the CRG has made numerous management and board changes since the previous loans were administered, which he said has allowed the two sides to foster a new positive relationship.
“Most or all of the people that were in charge have changed,” King said. “Our mistrust of the previous people in charge has disappeared. Ron Peters and his board are really trying to move our city and county forward.”
“This is a major step toward the partnership that should exist between our two organizations,” President and CEO of Fulton County Center for Regional Growth Ronald Peters said. “CRG and the City of Gloversville are forging ahead toward a better future in Fulton County, and we cannot achieve complete success without working as a team.”
The CRG and Gloversville have also reached a five-year agreement regarding the future of the Gloversville Urban Development Action Grant funds. The agreement has the option of extending it in the future in five-year increments.
Through the agreement the city also forgave four loans which includes a $750,000 loan to CIC for Estee Commons, a $200,000 loan to CIC for 110 Decker Drive and a $25,000 loan to Beebie Printing and a $179,190 loan to the city.
According to a release, the new loan pool will be called the Gloversville Loan Fund and it will be overseen by a seven member committee. Three of those members will be appointed by the Gloversville Common Council, one by the Gloversville Mayor, and three by Fulton County CRG.
The release said this group will review and approve all applications for funding. The day-to-day operations of the loan pool will be provided by the staff of CRG, under the oversight of the committee.
“This is a major milestone for economic development in the city of Gloversville,” Peters said. “This contract will allow our office to facilitate loan funding to Gloversville businesses, as we have been able to do for Johnstown businesses and to other areas in Fulton County. We will be able to assist in economic growth in the city to a greater degree with these funds. A good working relationship between CRG and the city of Gloversville is vital.”
King echoed the importance of working out an agreement with the CRG because the city doesn’t currently have the staff to handle the various economic development initiatives the way the CRG will be able to going forward.
“The City of Gloversville is looking forward to our new partnership with CRG,” King said. “We appreciate every opportunity to put the past behind us as we keep moving forward for the betterment of our community.”