We are not against a new hospital, just a downtown hospital. Learn why Here.
The Issue: In recent years three Utica-based hospitals have been working towards a complete merger, and now before that's done - the construction of a new downtown hospital! We found the concept in the MV500 Investor Prospectus
#NoHospitalDowntown will not allow this destruction of Downtown Utica. We have pledged to support property and business owners, as well as Utica-area residents who do not want this concept implemented.
#NoHospitalDowntown is working to document the efforts to place a hospital into downtown Utica and will be prepared to fight the effort every step of the way. We are working with another group of which our members are part of, together we have the better plan for Downtown Utica... meet "BUD", BetterUticaDowntown
This website and our group #NoHospitalDowntown are here to protest and turn-away Our Local & State Goverment's Concept For A Downtown Hospital (a.k.a. Urban Renewal Circa. 2016)
We learned it started in the fall of 2014... “This is an incredible opportunity for our community and we are extremely grateful to the governor and our legislators,” said Scott H. Perra, president and CEO of the Mohawk Valley Health System. “Last fall we began exploring the concept of a new, free-standing hospital. To be able to move forward with this concept changes health care in our community and enhances what we are able to do for the region.”
So not yet fully merged, two current entities (with a combined debt of $226M) have announced the idea for a new hospital complex. Albany Has Pledged $300M to help finance the new hospital that the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) will cost between $500-600M. If this project is like most construction projects, the final cost is more likely to approach $1B. [More recently, on October 6, 2015 we learned MVHS reported, "In August, MVHS had a year to date operating loss of $2.5 million compared to a budgeted gain of $400,000."]
The 2014 Albany-based legislation that brings $300M of taxpayer money to Utica (see link and or excerpt below) is tied to a hospital to be built in "Oneida County". Local media more recently reported this new hospital will be built in downtown Utica on 34 acres that needs to be acquired- as the hospital does not own any land there. This would start work on a 4th hospital location and construction could only begin after blocks-and-blocks of downtown buildings are demolished. These blocks will go from being “taxable property” to “tax exempt” further shrinking Utica’s tax base.
The MVHS’s Board of Directors voted to place the hospital downtown as their 1st Choice after allegedly considering 12 locations. A Utica newspaper offered a footprint, reporting a 34-acre hospital parcel, but the site measures only 12.5 acres by #NoHospitalDowntown.
Businesses (30+) in that area, as did the residents of Utica, only learned about this project (and the Albany-based legislation) from a newspaper headline- we feel that is wrong. #NoHospitalDowntown opposes bulldozing downtown and seeks to keep the hospital expansion at the St. Luke's campus.
The New Hospital Site Search: We have read that the $300M grant legislation placed the hospital into Oneida County's highest population center, and "it has to be in Downtown Utica." But we now know that sites as far away as 10 miles were studied Here's a visual that shows a 10-mile radius around Utica, NY
If the hospital has to be within the City of Utica, why did they look so far away? It was reported, "Twelve sites were reviewed with three sites meeting most of the criteria." What was the third site, as well as all the others?
The Legislative Bill (S 2825-B): "ONEIDA COUNTY HEALTH CARE FACILITY TRANSFORMATION PROGRAM: ONEIDA COUNTY PROJECT. 1. AN ONEIDA COUNTY HEALTH CARE FACILITY TRANSFORMATION PROGRAM IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED UNDER THE JOINT ADMINISTRATION OF THE COMMISSIONER AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE DORMITORY AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK (slush fund for pork barrel spending) FOR THE PURPOSE OF STRENGTHENING AND PROTECTING CONTINUED ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN COMMUNITIES..."
We are not sure of the meaning, but the language reading "awarded without competitive bid" catches our eye... "3. NOTWITHSTANDING SECTION ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW OR ANY INCONSISTENT PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, UP TO THREE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS OF THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THIS PROGRAM SHALL BE AWARDED WITHOUT A COMPETITIVE BID OR REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL PROC- ESS FOR CAPITAL GRANTS TO HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS (HEREAFTER "APPLICANTS") LOCATED IN THE COUNTY OF ONEIDA." Legislative Bill S 2825-B