The City of Fulton is hoping the new Micron plant in the town of Clay can help breathe new life into the community.
Mayor Deana Michaels says the city, which has a rich manufacturing history, already has much to offer, but the prospect of new residents and new support businesses has city officials feeling optimistic.
She says they hope to leverage several ongoing projects as well as new initiatives to ensure the city is attracting its share of the economic activity the plant is expected to bring.
“Fulton is uniquely positioned,” she said, “We’re the first city in Oswego County when you come down 481, so we’re positioned nicely, 15 minutes from the Micron location, and we really see ourselves as a significant player.”
Mayor Michaels says over the years, the city of Fulton has seen its ups and its downs.
“Fulton was the city that the depression missed,” she said. “We had a significant manufacturing community and were very industrialized, but as we advance through and move through the years we started to see the depression may have missed us, but we started to see our decline.”
She says much of that decline took place in the last 15 years, but they’re hoping that Micron coming to the area can be the turning point.
“We can be the bedroom community for those thousands of employees who are going to be employed there,” she said.
From improvements to Route 481 to utilizing funds from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative awarded to the city, she says they’ll be working to find different ways to position Fulton at the front of the pack at every turn.
“We’ve also been looking at when do we put the former Nestlé site on the market? We did that August 1 in anticipation of this announcement to make sure that that site was ready for any developers that might be looking at that,” she said.
Leah Haggary of Century 21 Leah’s Signature is tasked with finding a buyer for the massive site, formerly home to the Nestle manufacturing plant, its closing nearly 20 years ago played a role in the city’s manufacturing decline.
“We have 42 acres across the street that’s just primed and ready to build for developers for space, for industrial, for retail, or support services,” she said.
When it comes to housing, she says she expects the city of Fulton to attract a share of the expected population boom, in part because it offers home buyers something different.
“We have the Oswego River which is an international waterway running right through; we have a lock system; we have a nice downtown area; it’s positioned perfectly to have a slower lifestyle than in the Syracuse area,” she said.
Michaels says that’s the role she sees for the city as well.
“For those who want that smaller town feel but to have that close proximity to those larger shopping centers,” she said. “We want to be that moving and shaking community too, but on a much smaller scale.”
The city of Fulton was awarded $10 million in 2019 as part of the State of New York’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Michaels says the Micron announcement coincides with work already being planned through that grant.