Fulton County's unemployment rate remains over the national average. But as our Maria Valvanis explains, the location of a former youth detention center could be their ticket to more jobs.
FULTON COUNTY, N.Y. -- Fulton County Planning Director James Mraz said, "Many people worked there. Many people had made their lively hoods here. When that closed, it was a piece of our history that closed."
The 517 acres that formerly housed the Tryon Detention Center has sat empty for nearly a year now. But a $3.1 million capital project proposal to transform the campus into a business park may be the county's saving grace.
"At a time, right now, when Fulton County has one, if not the highest, unemployment rates in all of New York counties, the creation of jobs is foremost in our minds, of making things happen out there," said Mraz.
Fulton County Center for Regional Growth President Michael Reese said, "It's a great location for a business park to hopefully bring in new employers and create more jobs."
The state owned property is currently in the process of being transferred over to county ownership, meaning besides bringing jobs, the project will also bring along a new tax base.
"It will be a big help for the Broadalbin-Perth district, as well as Fulton County, because lands will be coming under the tax rule as we locate companies there and that will increase tax revenue," said Reese.
The first steps of the project will be to get new sewer lines, water lines and roads, creating the infrastructure needed to home an industrial park.
Mraz said, "The Board of Supervisors, on Monday, will be awarding a contract to CT Male Associates to complete the engineering of that project."
Mraz tells us if all goes as planned bidding on the project will start this winter, which means they can break ground as early as next spring.