Authentic, Livable & Connected Downtown Neighborhoods
So many buildings have been torn-down for surface parking, and our Oneida County Executive "exclaims proudly" he has done more; His Announcement and Project Nears Completion This and the Hotel Utica in recent months knocked down its historic parking garage for a surface lot.
Not only do these steps destroy the character of the city, they destroy the tax base. It's like "suburban sprawl" within our city, terrible mistakes...
Utica is a small city and land is very short supply. Utica cannot afford a fifth hospital district. Will Utica learn before it is too late?
The monthly West Utica Citizens Forum
For almost two year #NoHospitalDowntown has followed (and often generated) the much-needed debate over the downtown hospital concept... one that seeks to bulldoze 34 acres of Downtown Utica. We say, why destroy downtown streets, alleys and historic buildings - and displace 40+ businesses!! - when St. Luke's today owns 64-acres across from Utica College?
This week a Columbia-Lafayette property owner shared a letter sent by a Eminent Domain law firm called Biersdorf & Associates This firm must mine database to find potential clients, in the case of Mohawk Valley Health System's Downtown Utica Hospital, it seems that a NYS Department of Transportation alerted the law firm.
MVHS's St. Luke's Campus today owns 64-acres, yet they just do not seem to care about the 40+ businesses within Historic Downtown Utica's Columbia-Lafayette Neighborhood.
Say hello to Biersdorf & Associates on Twitter @CondemnationLaw, get to know the NYS Eminent Domain Procedure Law and notes on the NYS DOT's website NYS DOT Engineering Division Office of Design: Eminent Domain Procedure Law
Today Utica has three hospitals, St. Luke's is part of a medical district near Utica College. It shares a modern $15 million dollar co-generation power plant, a "green" micro-grid. St. Luke's has lots of room, 64-acres, enough space to Keep the St. Luke's home & Construct Eight Hospitals. And as you can see, they could Build a new hospital & medical office building, while the current hospital continues to function.
Why move the hospital into the compact area of downtown? The area is very close to CSX freight tracks hauling 100-car oil trains...
Why bulldoze Downtown Utica as many new developments are taking place? With Nano we will create even more demand for a vibrant urban city downtown. This, and Utica has Faxton Hospital expanding services, it just doesn't make sense.
Shown here is the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation's CRIS: Utica Hospital Consultation Project area. Will a huge part of Downtown Utica be bulldozed for Utica New York's 5th hospital district?
A question in today's Utica Observer-Dispatch - their story headline - reads: Downtown hospital: Could it come to eminent domain? Yet the answer is in the very article, and it's "Yes", if the hospital board continues to push the ill-conceieved Downtown Utica location...
We say "Make it ALL about health care!", build at the St. Luke's Campus which is the Mohawk Valley Health Systems 2nd Unanimous Site. as they've stated:
The situation has changed. Politicians and hospital administration called us the "vocal minority", but of course they're wrong and just talking their talk. However over the last weeks, things have changed, momentum has taken hold and new members have arrived...
Prepare for the new "Better Plan", as we defeat "Fiasco General" and as more facts, people's true feelings, and stories are heard. Will anyone catch some heat? Please join us
Our Oneida County Historian writes, "One for all, and all for one is not in the DNA of Oneida County/Central New York"
Long-time resident and business owner, William Corrigan Speaks Out Against Proposed Downtown Utica Hospital concept...
Why add a 5th, very ill-conceived, out-of-scale, hospital district? Hear William Corrigan, "A Better Downtown Utica" https://t.co/OJmf0Ybs82— #NoHospitalDowntown (@NoHospitalDwtn) February 17, 2017
As does this reader of the Utica Observer-Dispatch, Joanne Sirtoli today...
Recently the founding members of #NoHospitalDowntown spoke with the Utica Observer-Dispatch's Editorial Board. We're looking forward to their take on what we shared and we'll update you here later on (see below Tweet).
Politicians had hopes, a concept, and yet they we're backed by bad community actors (sound oddly familiar New York?). Now the people are driven to their next step...
You're invited to add to our wealth of documented knowledge as we prepare our case. Use E-mail, click #NoHospitalDowntown You may also join, add your comments, on our Facebook Group: #NoHospitalDowntown and sign-up for Newsletter updates: Get Updates If you're wondering, this is Who We Are
Landmarks Society president Steven Grant pens letter to his members regarding Mohawk Valley Health System's concept for a Downtown Utica hospital...
Bottom line: 1) What do the planners have in mind at this point? 2) What urban fabric will be left if everything is razed? 3) Historic buildings are going to be demolished to create some sort of green space?
Did you miss the MVHS's "public information" sessions? If so, here's the questionnaire that was distributed at the sessions.
How did it happen? What was wrong with the St. Luke's Campus? They had 64-acres on a green hilltop! Wasn't the new police station and courthouse campus a perfect setting next to the AUD? How on earth did this happen? Yes, so many future questions, but it's just "Too sad, too bad" now...
Are St. Elizabeth's and St. Luke's Campuses still sitting empty? Boarded-up and costing taxpayers money? And what about the tremendous costs over-runs of the hospital in downtown; a new courthouse, new police station and maintenance garage, with Comets fans and hospital visitors paying for parking... and no one feels very safe! Why are all these nefarious people hanging around the hospital district?
Can't something be done? Who's idea was this anyway Mr. Brindisi?
Want to fix a problem at home? Better to get out-of-town help...
What will people of Utica do, those marching forth with their derelict concept? This, when they must answer to people wholly uninterested in who they know, and impervious to what locals thought they'd receive via our small-city's "Friends & Family" plan?
Perhaps the foolish hospital concept is just what was needed? Just the event to finally (once again) move Utica away from the politics of old?
The Utica Observer-Dispatch Captures Citizen Lou Critelli Yelling, misses audio, but it's caught here..."We don't want you to dig!"
About the only people seeking to bulldoze Downtown Utica are deaf politicians, and tainted community leaders, who seek to grab fame and make a "real estate buck" on the backs of taxpayers and our country's disgustingly expensive and ineffective health care system.
Does Cuomo even care? Or does Cuomo just want billions in construction to show that he can build, regardless if it's good, bad, or just down-right stupid.
On December 11, 2015 Hospital Board Chairman Norm Siegel said they'd "...study the re-use of our old hospitals, before a dime was spent on downtown plans". That has not been the case. We know nothing of repurposing our old hospitals. Will our old hospitals remain open for the poor? Is the new downtown hospital to only be for the rich, those who can afford private rooms?
One day in the sad future of Downtown Utica... might the poor to be placed on buses bound for St. Luke's, Faxton and St. Elizabeth's? While the rich and well-insured stay at "Millionaire's Healthcare"...
Look at the demographics of Utica, we're a poor city. The well-to-do go out of town for their health care, just ask your politician. If they're honest you will hear they do not go to Utica hospitals. This will not change with a new one, and soon - they will not go downtown for entertainment - as
Today's paper tries to wallpaper over the illegal Downtown Utica hospital concept, read it here in Architects talk about designing hospital for Utica's future
A Utica-area resident responds: "1) Will it keep existing streets and intersections open? Otherwise it will interfere with development and accessing businesses and properties blocks away from the facility. (2) Will it include "mixed use" facilities? Otherwise it will be inconsistent with the official public vision (the Master Plan) for Downtown. (3) Will it conform to the Gateway Historic District's design requirements? Otherwise it would appear to be illegal under our zoning law! (4) Will it preserve the existing businesses in the district? Otherwise there will be a loss of jobs and tax revenues. (5) Will it replicate the Police Maintenance garage? Otherwise taxpayers will have to fund a replacement. The final design can meet all of these requirements -- if MVHS is willing to spend the money needed to meet non-hospital requirements" Frank Montecalvo
And we ask further, "What's so great about the architect's other projects?" What's with Swedish Medical that they offer as a reference? What's also true about their reference hospitals they're not telling us? Don't worry, we're investigating...
MVHS Hospital CEO, Oneida County Health Department Director, and a City of Utica employee make their cases for a Inner-city Hospital District. Followed by founding members of this group...
What do you think? Head over to #NoHospitalDowntown we'd love to gain your support and comments!
While the Utica Mayor has been largely silent on the hospital concept, Mike Galime Makes A Video Statement. We hope this brings this ill-conceived, and politically-backed, concept out into the light of day.
The above video release was followed-up with Mike Galime Speaking With WUTQ Regarding The Downtown Hospital Concept Lack Of Transparancy...
The Utica OD editors say "keep moving forward", in spite of facts that make a hospital impossible!
At the Jan. 10 forum, Perra was asked about revenue loss from displaced businesses. He essentially stated a downtown hospital with its "$480 million" price tag would "relatively quickly" outpace current economic activity. He ignores that his numbers are taxpayer dollars funneled into artificial economic "growth" in an area where many did not ask for this project and remain opposed to it.
MVHS is not entitled to downtown simply because they have been given a golden goose by state taxpayers. Perra should speak with folks who have raised their geese downtown, organically. If local leaders continue to build as THEY wish instead of working with residents, I'm afraid all of our eggs may end up scrambled." CRAIG MILES, Clinton
Consider this: Per the reporting of Kim Slowey @kimslowey of Construction Dive, "...the fate of the Affordable Care Act under a new administration is up in the air and has stalled, to some degree, planning for new medical facilities. Under the existing healthcare policy, construction of smaller, community-based clinics has thrived in order to meet the ACA goals of increased patient monitoring."
We believe New York State Governor Cuomo is seeking a very visible "Temple In Downtown Utica" and thus instead of improvements to hospitals we already have, and adding new clinics or urgent/primary care facilities, Utica New York is fighting "Fiasco General"... Cuomo wants BIG:
The Utica AUD can attract 6,000 people at musical events, 4,000 for hockey. The AUD management has also said they want to expand, that's great. The Oneida County Executive is also leading a new NYS Authority in the same direction it seems, NYSSEFA
If one reads about mass gatherings, accidents, as well as the increased chance for terrorism-type incidents; why would the region's prime Mohawk Valley Health System hospital district wish to be relocated within 1,000 feet of the AUD? Meanwhile, the DOT is seeking to narrow and slow-down East-to-West traffic flows in downtown.
Attempting to place our hospital into Downtown Utica, next to large-scale public events, when the hospital currently owns 64-acres on a green hilltop - under two miles away! -
Oh, and there are those
The Mohawk Valley Health System COO Bob Scholefield and the head of his hired Marketing/PR firm looking pleased sharing a story with the CNY Business Journal. It's a tall tale about a politically-backed $600M to $1B, Downtown Utica temple - a.k.a. "Fiasco General" - or simply put "their concept for a poor, inner-city, hospital district. One that would become Utica's 5th hospital district. Which might explain the other look on the PR firm's CEO's face as she listens to taxpayers and residents...
Did the hospital administration and board of directors, the politicians backing the concept, and the PR firm (The Paige Group) hired, finally hear the news? If so, or if they had the courage to take a poll, it's very clear a majority of residents and taxpayers are squarely against their Downtown Utica Hospital concept.
An inner-city hospital is far from the best use of Utica's Columbia-Lafayette Neighborhood. Adding to that, there are (today!!) 40 businesses located where the politicians have directed the hospital - making it simply unconscionable!
Downtown Utica has been on a new uptick, and to continue this trend is critical, a 34 or even a 25-acre hospital district would be pure destructive urban renewal. And the people don't want this HUGE, politically-backed, infrastructure project very sadly disguised as "improved health care"!
For months, #NoHospitalDowntown has asked, "Why does the City of Utica display false information on their website?" Mr. Ron Vincent asks it again at the MVHS forum, as he waves his research on zoning, as well his documentation showing Utica is also ignoring the City's Master Plan...
Take action, join us on Facebook and Twitter, spread the word and we can turn-away this silly hospital concept with your help! Together we can seek better health care, keep downtown authentic, walkable and a place that people want to live and tourists will visit.
The Mohawk Valley Health System has made wrong turn, after wrong turn. They started hearing from politicians early on, and then Mohawk Valley EDGE influenced their Board of Directors, did the hospital forget to read the request for funding, or did they plan to just ignore the public?
Public engagement was known to be a requirement since 2014...
Read the ten (10) questions and answers submitted in the quest for $300 Million Dollar to build an "Oneida County Healthcare Facilities Transformation"; they're posted here: Grant DOH01-Oneida-2016, Questions & Answers Posting (PDF)
We are sure there would have been many more questions had the NYS DOH truly announced the grant application with a standard media press release. Why all the secrecy? We're talking about $300 million of taxpayers' hard earn wealth!
Is Utica's hospital really ready to listen? Their website has a comment interface, but it is turned off. Why? They said they were ready to listen, but hired a Marketing, PR & Crisis communications firm.
The firm The Paige Group says, "there will be no filter". But they'll work around that, and the hospital will get what they need for their politicians, simply by using "selective listening".
Last night County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. displayed his "selective eyesight" to residents at the South Utica Neighborhood Association meeting. He confirmed he's been to St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse and walked around. When told that the area is surrounded by blight, vacant and partially vacant buildings, he replied "I think your looking at the wrong things."
Let's see how this all goes.
Per Mr. Michael Galime, Utica Common Council President, regarding targeted Downtown Utica area that the hospital seeks: "That's A Business District That's Alive & Well Now"
We agree! The ill-conceived hospital concept has to be turned-away. Allow the Columbia-Lafayette Neighborhood to developed much more properly. You can help, contact your government representatives and the media Links Here
Talk to your health care providers too, let them know you oppose the Downtown Utica hospital concept. It's not good for health care, and it's also destructive Urban Renewal for a large portion of downtown.
The efforts to build will be derailed by court battles, over the very questionable use of eminent domain. Way behind now, we'll stall their bad concept for many more months, years. Join us now on Facebook at #NoHospitalDowntown
This past week we were very encouraged, the hospital had told residents Hospital Officials Ready to Listen. Next a local radio station called and #NoHospitalDowntown Had A Chance To Speak. A TV program in Syracuse called too. It was looking like a great week to debate the topic we’ve advocated against for over a year and a half; the ill-conceived Downtown Utica hospital district.
After nearly three years politicians have planned, and twice granted $300 million, to fund their Oneida County health care transformation – however no one was ready to discuss it on a TV panel? Calls to hospital and politicians revealed no one wanted to appear on WCNY; the show was canceled. Our opportunity to debate, after the hospital said it was ready to listen, and they could not listen and or defend their $300 million 3 year old concept?
One has to wonder, what is wrong with the 64 acres at the St. Luke’s Campus, which the hospital has been accumulating for expansion and is bought and paid for? Why a drive to displace 40 businesses and bulldoze a neighborhood when Downtown Utica is on a new upswing?
why do other want to bulldoze 34-acres for an inner-city hospital district? The other side will not talk, so just when will they get to work on the region's healthcare system? Three years have passed so far...
Brett Truett and Lynne Mishalanie, advocates against a hospital concept for Downtown Utica, remind WIBX listeners "it's only a concept" and that Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi says, "the downtown location is not in stone..."
The Hotel Utica Getting New Name, Upgrades but new owners will also need to protect the Hilton and Doubletree brands. We also hope that the new management, Visions Hotels will protect the building's heritage and what remains of the next door Historic Columbia-Lafayette Streets Neighborhood.
If one looks at Vision's Website you'll see modern, but almost cookie-cutter hotels - save the Adam's Mark Buffalo Clean and great service, however none look like the Hotel Utica, nor appear to share the character of Hotel Utica. Will Visions Hotels care about this and the surrounding neighborhood?
Our Facebook Group #NoHospitalDowntown has been tracking the misguided urban renewal concept backed by politicians for over 18 months. Their concept is to buy and bulldoze 34 acres in Downtown Utica for an inner-city hospital.
Take action, join us on Facebook and Twitter, spread the word and we can turn-away this silly hospital concept with your help! Together we can seek better health care, keep downtown authentic, walkable and a place that people want to live and tourists will visit.
Hospital activist group seeks answers; MVHS offers meetings. This per the Utica Observer-Dispatch as group says We want to talk about the downtown hospital
Check out this comment: https://t.co/FsDa787FTL— Donna Beckett (@DonnaBeckett8) November 19, 2016
No news to the public or newswires (we're not surprised), but today we detected New York's $300 million dollar grant- one they've spoke about for 3 years! Learn more at Health Care Facility Transformation Program: Oneida County Request for Applications #1505060325, Grants Gateway ID: DOH01-Oneida-2016
The hidden metatag "description" text on the NYS Department of Health's website reads:
"NYSDOH and DASNY announce the availability of HCFTP funds of up to $300 million: Oneida County, as established pursuant to Section 2825-b of the Public Health Law (PHL), for capital project(s) located in the largest population center in Oneida County that will consolidate multiple licensed health care facilities into an integrated system of care (including acute inpatient, outpatient primary and other health care services)."
We are tracking this and you can join us in the discussion at #NoHospitalDowntown on Facebook.
Odd, but not surprising, no conversation about why a totally new campus or where it should be located! But today we hear that the Mohawk Valley Health System is now ready to listen to taxpayers, this regarding their Downtown Utica hospital concept. Really? After two years, and three budget cycles, the Mohawk Valley Health System hires a marketing firm. Why hire a marketing/PR company "to listen"?
MVHS Announces Community Engagement Program For New Hospital https://t.co/GYmdPz7uwn— News Radio 950 WIBX (@WIBXnews) November 10, 2016
We've anticipated this "conversation" for 1-1/2 years, but as we suggested, it sounds like taxpayers will only have votes on the number and position of the bike racks and park benches. So #NoHospitalDowntown was right all along -
We have been asking questions, talking, setting and going to meetings, debating (mostly amongst ourselves), making calls, and investigating - for about sixteen months! "Why?", you might ask. We'd reply, "Because Downtown Utica is under attack!"
Just last week the Mohawk Valley EDGE & MVREDC were in Albany seeking $5.5 million to buy land for a downtown hospital, a hospital that is only just a concept, shrinking, and not even fully funded! Additionally, voters, taxpayers and residents have never had a public Q&A on Governor Cuomo's "Transformational Hospital", even though our political leaders have been working on spending $300 million of our money since the fall of 2014!
Is #NoHospitalDowntown starting to catch a break? Is our group's work & conversations paying off? Might we save Downtown Utica from being sold-off to those wishing to make handsome profits off the nation's soaring healthcare costs?
Sorry, we just have to ask since MVHS's (?) "Healthcare Consultants" offer a class called Real Estate 101 for Healthcare Executives In the video, Hammes Company explain how high-wealth individuals can target marquee locations (even if the properties/buildings are not for sale), and make big profits on "MOB" or Medical Office Buildings (Hospitals, doctor offices, etc.)
Today, the Utica Observer-Dispatch reports in their Op-Ed OUR VIEW: Proposed hospital plan still on critical list
We must remain vigilant until the MVHS Board of Directors announces that 1st choice Downtown Utica location has been rejected, and their unanimously agreed on 2nd location adopted at St. Luke's
Your phone call today could make the difference, take action and Make Healthcare The First Priority & Keep Downtown Utica Walkable & Authentic!
A sad, a terribly frightening, story! A Utica doctor's words in today's Observer-Dispatch “Until then, I have to try to keep him alive and keep him from harming himself or anybody around him.”
We've heard of the terrible addiction problems in our region for years now. Today, we hear that Oneida County doesn't have a medical detoxification facility. This, at the same time although licensed for 570 beds, two of our hospitals have empty floors and are staffed for only 400 beds!
The Mohawk Valley region has wasted 3 years as "Albany's Unique $300 Million Gift" for improved healthcare has gone nowhere; this as our misguided politicians have the Mohawk Valley Health System thinking about economic development - not the region's health care!
So let's place this travesty at the feet of our Politicians and the Mohawk Valley EDGE. This as they pursue their ill-conceived, destructive urban renewal-style Downtown Utica hospital district, but not before they bulldoze a major portion of Utica's Central business district
The City of Utica, and ironically a Few Boards Of Directors Of Various Economic Development Agencies & The Hospital System have a plan to Bulldoze Downtown Utica Help us take action to stop this ill-conceived concept...
Each time #NoHospitalDowntown looks to find facts, the reasons for supporting the politically-backed downtown hospital, we find troubling information like this. Hammes is the "engineering company" that studied the site selection work done by Mohawk Valley EDGE; they studied the costs of a new hospital at the St. Luke's campus vs. "going downtown", they then confirmed that the downtown site could work as costs were comparable. Continue reading...
The Common Council unanimously passed legislation on March 16, 2005 that designates a 120-acre portion of downtown as the Gateway Historic Canal District However, today the City of Utica Website shows a false and misleading Scenic & Historic map. Why?
The proper and legal representation of the city's zoning Should Show The Correct Legal Designations!
One has to wonder why the city does not show the correct legal information. Also, what other information is the City of Utica dispensing that is false? The corruption in Albany would appear very much at home here in Utica...
As The Utica Observer-Dispatch starts to seek questions On The downtown Utica hospital from planners, please keep-up the drumbeat of letters in your local newspaper. Calling the editor(s) first will help. You can even ask for a larger letter, Opinion Page, feature if you have a significant amount of factual information to offer. The future of Downtown Utica is at stake! We cannot allow hospital and suburban sprawl ruin our historic, small-scale, downtown. Grab a pen, the phone and or email (provide your phone number so they can confirm your words are yours).
Send two copies, and or make two calls, both Mr Johns and Dudajek will be glad to have your thoughts and opinions...
This according to the Utica Observer-Disptach in their Editorial "OUR VIEW: Hospital Answers Needed"
What's an enigma? It's defined as Someone Or Something That Is Difficult To Understand Or Explain.
This reminds us of the quote by Chief Joseph "It Does Not Require Many Words To Speak The Truth" Readers comment online, they ask more and have other questions...
Ben Hammer - "The article states the biggest question surrounding this proposed fiasco is paying for it. While that is important, it is not the biggest question. The biggest question is WHY do we need it? Only after a truly identifiable need can discussion of funding begin. Instead, this entire mess has turned into the current shiny object for our band of crooked politicians to chase after. Shame on them."
Rodger Potocki - "The numbers presented already show that the primary funding for the hospital is the taxpayer. At the same time, the project is being controlled and managed by people and groups with no direct ties or accountability to we taxpayers. This is a very questionable approach which, as we've seen all to often, could have significant effects on the public purse, usually negative."
As we look for truth about the ill-conceived downtown hospital, we are confident taxpayers will get and see more of the government that they've been hearing about out of Albany and across Upstate. We agree with Chief Joseph above, and say, "If their concept is so great, why is it so hard for them to explain and finance (without the taxpayers!)?"
First clue, it's been said the Downtown Utica hospital was an effort to expand economic development in the "downtown region". Second, the MVHS Hospital leadership and the City of Utica seemed not to understand their roles, and that's why taxpayers only had the Mohawk Valley EDGE and government leaders touting their push for downtown.
Give us a few days, will are connecting the local dots in order to answer some questions that need to be asked and answered...
If Utica and or the hospital fiasco escapes the current and ongoing scandal, perhaps those involved will be glad they were not capable of getting their local "ducks in a row" faster?
Meet with No Hospital Downtown▪ Fort Schuyler Club Mondays Noon-1:00PM